During the colder months of the year, finding that motivation to keep active can be more difficult. However, the benefits of exercise are countless and some cold temperatures shouldn’t stop you from keeping active. Here are some tips for training in the winter and how to keep motivated.
1. Extra Focus On The Warm Up
During the colder months warm up is essential. It’s purpose is to increase your internal body temperature in preparation for the activity ahead. A focus on a dynamic warm up as opposed to static stretching and keep the movement patterns specific to your sport. Without a proper warm up you will be at higher risk of injury.
2. Layer Up
Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean you have to be as well. When you're training outdoors, wear layers that you can strip down as you warm up. Starting off with a base layer of compression clothing with some loose fitting athletic wear and a jumper or jacket on top. When training indoors, you can start your session off in a jumper and take it off when your body has warmed up enough. If your training in the water, think about getting the right wetsuit to keep you warm during your session.
Make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep your immune system up. Vitamins C, D and Zinc can help prepare your body for fighting off any colds or the flu. Also, consider your pre and post workout nutrition. A light pre-workout meal with easily digestible proteins and carbohydrates will help you avoid glycogen depletion. A post workout meal consisting of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, and minerals helps to speed up the rebuilding of glycogen stores and repairing muscle.
4. Switch up the focus
The winter months can be used to switch up the focus of your training. If loved running in the summer mornings and afternoons, but it is now dark in the winter. You can use this time to focus on strength building. The lights are always on in the gym and you can get out of the cold. You could also take up an indoor sport or even swimming. Indoor pools are open throughout the winter and are generally kept very warm.
5. The Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method can actually teach you to use the cold to your advantage. It bases itself around three foundation pillars; breathing, cold therapy and commitment. Some of the practices include regular cold showers and even ice baths. Once you’ve sat in an ice bath for a couple minutes, Australia’s balmy temperatures won’t seem so cold any more.
Article by Nick Brbot
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