Winter is here! This doesn’t mean you have to postpone your training and fitness routine until the snow melts. Even in the midst of winter, I encourage you to get outside, soak in the beauty all around and continue to do your training outdoors! Step outside and see how alive you feel in the cold!
Cold weather training increases blood flow and circulation to nerves and veins as the body works to warm up. It also strengthens the cardiovascular system because cold weather pushes your body to work harder.
However, it’s important to be smart to stay healthy in the cold.
1. Dress in layers: You can take clothes off but can’t put on extra layers you don’t have! Make sure the layer closest to your skin is moisture wicking to pull sweat away from your body preventing your core from getting cold.
2. Warm up first, ideally inside: It’s always important to warm up before exercise, but in the cold weather your joints and muscles may feel stiff and tight. Get your blood flowing to warm muscles and joints before heading outside.
3. Protect your hands, feet, and head: Blood flows to your core when you do exercises that increase your heart rate, making your fingers, toes, and head more susceptible to cold. Make sure to wear gloves, warm socks and a hat or headband.
4. Stay hydrated: Training in cold, dry climate can cause dehydration which can cause a host of other problems. Drink UP even when you feel you’re not thirsty!
5. Plan warming meals and drinks for post-workout recovery! The 30 – 45 minute window after workout is when your body receives the most benefit for recovery. Your body is starving to be refueled with essential nutrients to replace muscle glycogen stores and build and repair muscles. Refuel your body with soups or chili filled with a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Not feeling like a meal after you come inside from training? Try a warm cup of hot chocolate made with milk and quality chocolate to provide protein, carbs and a little fat which will warm you from the inside.
Melissa helps athletes of all levels with personalized nutrition, training, and recovery in order to reach higher levels of health and performance!