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Warm Body, Cold Workout Days

Feb 02, 2015 01:12PM ● Published by Jennifer Neys

By Tonya Amos, Aspire Pilates Center

Winter is here with its blustery wind, cold air, and maybe even some rain. We can hibernate during this time of year or we can keep moving. Working out in the cold has challenges, but with a bit of planning, you can successfully exercise all the way through the cold season.  

Cover up. Ever notice that dancers are layered from head to toe? Keeping the body warm is essential to protecting muscles and joints from injury. From cramping muscles to torn ligaments and tendons, it’s easy to hurt yourself when it’s cold. And warm muscles have more flexibility, which improves the quality of your activity. Layering your clothes means you can pull them on and off as your body temperature shifts during your workout. As a dancer, I’m partial to tights as my first layer to keep warm without adding bulk. Use a hat, headband with ear coverings, or scarf to minimize losing body heat from your head and neck. Visit your local athletic store to find the right layers for your sport or activity.    

Warm up well, and then change your wet clothes immediately after your workout.  Having a spare set of warm, dry clothes in your car, locker, or workout bag will get you warm faster. This will help keep your body temperature stable instead of plummeting dramatically after a hard workout in the cold.  

Drink plenty of water. You may feel less thirsty when working out in the cold vs. intense heat, but you are still sweating. Heavy clothes can cause extra perspiration, which means even more loss of fluids.   

Resist the urge to hibernate this winter.  Doing a solid warm-up, wearing the right gear, and staying hydrated will keep you from turning into Frosty the Snowman while staying in shape.  And the sun will come out tomorrow….or soon, at least!

 

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