Wellness and Exercise in the cold: Part 2. Hazards and cooling down.
While exercising in the cold winter months may not seem like everyone’s idea of a good
time, it packs some great benefits for your body. Recent research tells us that running in the
cold can not only get your body more used to the colder climates, but it can also improve your
immune system. It substantially boosts your metabolism, making it easier to keep warm and
burn calories! (Bonino et al., 2011)
If exercising outside in the colder months, it is important to consider some of the hazards you
may face. The most common being icy paths or the low temperature itself.
Here are some ways to mitigate some of the hazards you might face:
● Wear footwear that is sturdy and supportive. This is essential, choose shoes with ankle
support and more tread on the soles to maximise grip.
● Choose clothes that are warm, but breathable and lightweight to wick sweat and
insulate your body.
● Avoid routes that are known for being waterlogged or slick as they are more likely to
have a layer of ice. Stick to paths that are well maintained and gritted.
Ideal clothing when exercising in the cold
One common faux pas is wearing the same outfit for running year round, believing that you
‘will warm up as you go’ and by wearing the same outfit you won’t overheat. Infact, not only
will an extra, lightweight base-layer make it easier for you to warm up safely. It will also
help you to regulate body temperature by wicking sweat. This reduces the rate at which your
body self cools. This is especially handy in colder weather where cooling down too quickly
could lead to injury!
Why cooling down if it is cold outdoor?
Cooling down is still important after a workout, even in colder weather! For endurance
athletes especially, cooling down serves to return the heart rate and blood flow to its normal
levels. It is also shown to reduce muscle soreness and reduce the risk of injury.
How to cool down in the cold weather
You can quickly cool down by ending your activity with a 5-10 minute walk at a leisurely pace!
Sometimes, even after cooling down, we are smited with the dreaded DOMS (or delayed
onset muscle soreness). This usually occurs 24-48 hours after exercise, and it is
characterised by sore and achy muscles that have a reduced range of motion. The impact of
DOMS on your following few days can be reduced by stretching thoroughly following
exercise (20-30 seconds on each muscle).
Also using warmth from baths, showers or hot water bottles will support the blood flow to and from the area and drain some of that lactic acid.
My top tip is using periodic magnesium flake, or epsom salt baths, either submerging your
feet or everything, to replenish essential salts and relax your muscles after exercise.
Also considering regular massage sessions will help to bring your muscles in an optimal condition and will regenerate faster after intense training sessions.
So why don’t you book a massage with me today?
Call us on 0191 296 0567 or book online herePublished on: 1st January 2024