Protect Your Body with Layers and Stretching
It is important to warm up and stay warm for your winter workouts. Whether you are skiing, running, or snow shoeing, it’s crucial to warm up your tendons, joints, and muscles before you work out. When it is cold your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are less elastic, making them more prone to tiny tears and inflammation.
Innermost layer: Start with a light garment made from a synthetic fabric, such as polypropylene that wicks away sweat from your body.
Insulating layer: Pull on a long-sleeved midweight base-layer shirt made from either nonitchy merino wool or polyester.
Outermost layer: Pick a long-sleeve waterproof and breathable shirt, such as GORE-TEX, allowing sweat to escape.
(See the infographic below for a visual display of this information.)
- Slip on wicking knee length socks to keep your calves and ankles warm.
- Wear a lightweight hat so your head doesn’t get too sweaty.
- Water-resistant, but breathable, running shoes help make snowy or rainy conditions bearable for your feet.
- Facial sunscreen and lip balm with SPF are both musts.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Snow reflects the sun’s harmful UV rays, and the light bouncing off the snow can be blinding.
- Try water proofing your cold gear. You can buy water proofing spray at most department stores.
Once you’re well insulated, be sure to warm up for five to 10 minutes indoors, before going outside. Also, it is recommended to double your regular warm-up time, i.e. if you warm up for five minutes in the summer, take 10 minutes in the winter. Here are a few warm-up exercises before starting.
Do 10 arm circles, moving in a forward direction. Repeat, circling your arms backward. Then swing your arms back and forth across the front of your body.
Raise one foot up onto tiptoes. Rotate the other foot’s ankle in a circle 10 times. Then repeat in the other direction.
Lower your head to your chest. Then slowly roll your ear toward one shoulder, and continue the motion, making a full circle. Do 10 circles, then repeat in the opposite direction.
Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at the waist so that your upper body is parallel to the floor. Rotate your torso in a full circle 10 times, then repeat in the opposite direction.
Stand with your feet a few inches apart and your knees touching. Keeping them together, slowly rotate your knees in a circle. Complete 10 circles, then repeat in the opposite direction.
Infographic design by Parrin Habibpour
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