Warming Up In Winter
Just how important is it?
The mornings get darker, getting out of bed gets harder, and muscles become just a bit tighter... sound familiar? It's Winter.
With the temperature dropping and natural heat for our muscles becoming less easy to find, Winter brings a focus (more than usual) to the importance of stretching, warming up, and making your muscles mobile before working out.
Below are our top tips, and favourite products for keeping limber this winter and making sure your muscles are maintained throughout the colder months.
Colder muscles require more stretching to get them to where they need to be pre-workout. What could usually be a 15min warm-up in Summer, should be increased to 20min+ in winter to combat the natural stiffness in the muscles. The stretches should remain the same, however incrementally increased in difficulties/resistance as the muscle fibres relax, warm-up, and become more adaptable to the provided resistance.
Cover up with the right clothing
While we'll eventually get a sweat on it's important to keep the body at a decent temperature in the lead-up. We don't want tight and stiff muscles before diving into a workout and that means wearing the right clothes. Consider a hoody over your usual top or tracksuit pants over your shorts. Also consider your shoes, socks and even a hat as this is where we lose a lot of heat during winter.
Take a bath!
Not only a great way to relax and unwind, but taking a warm bath can work wonders for your muscles during your inactive periods. Warm water relaxes muscles, reduces inflammation, and can increase muscle elasticity. Adding epsom salts (or your favourite bath bomb) can boost these results, even more, increasing circulation, relaxing the nervous system and adding further efforts to relaxing muscles and maximising the body's time off.
Choose the right resistance
Making sure you're using the right level of resistance is an integral part of warming up effectively. Ensuring you have the resistance without rigour for your warm-up is the key to priming muscles prior to working up, having resistance too low will fatigue the muscles without warm-up, and resistance too high too soon... we all know how that can go.