With colder days it’s not only harder to find the motivation to get up and exercise, but the cold weather can actually have a huge effect on your muscles. When the colder weather hits, if you do not keep warm you can often find your whole body trembling and shivering trying to make up for your loss of body heat. If you’re a keen fitness goer, looking after your muscles in the winter month is key.
When you’re cold, the rate at which the oxygen is released is a lot slower. This causes the muscle to feel stiff and can result in injury. Stiff muscles mean the joints also get tighter and muscles to lose their range of motion. During the colder months, you’re likely to suffer from more aches and pains in general. If you forget to warm up and cool down, your muscles can be stiffer so making sure you look after your body in the winter months is so important. But don’t worry, just follow these simple steps on how to look after your muscles during the winter months.
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Tips for looking after your muscles during winter months
When the winter months hit, people don’t often think of their muscles as something they need to look after. As keeping your body warm when feeling cold is a top priority during winter months, it is also vitally crucial to look after your muscles.
But no panic! We’re here to help you out and provide guidance for looking after your muscles during winter months. All you have to do is adhere to the following and your muscles should feel much much better:
- Start with light cardio
- Embrace winter
- Try home workouts
- Keep moving
- Utilise recovery equipment
Start with light cardio
Warming up and warming down has never been so important in the winter months. If you don’t listen to your body and begin your workout without warming up, you are more likely to cause injury. Light cardio for example walking or cycling is a super way to get the blood pumping around the body and warm up the body. This gets the heart rate up and increases the blood flow to the muscles. Light cardio can be a great way to start off your day to loosen the muscles and prepare your body for more intense exercise.
Before you start your weight training, it is recommended to start with some light cardio, this won’t strain your muscles as much as diving right in, that can result in injury.
It might be a good option to actually embrace the winter months instead of hiding from them. With winter comes snow and depending on where you are based in the world you could get mounds and mounds of it. You could try a new sport such as skiing or ice skating in winter months. By embracing and trialling out a new sport, this won’t only work different muscles that you are not used to working, but it might also get you in the Christmas spirit!
Not only will this be a fun and different way to exercise, but it will help to keep your muscles warm in the process. Just make sure to wrap up warm inappropriate clothing! Remember, keeping the body warm will protect muscles.
Exercising on your own means you only have yourself to rely on. Therefore, on days when you feel rather sluggish, you might easily convince yourself to not work out and could result in excuse after excuse as to why you shouldn’t exercise today!
If you train with a partner, you can keep each other accountable and motivated. This should make it a lot easier to get out in the cold and keep moving. You’ll have no excuses. When your partner wants to exercise, you will have to do it too.
Try home workouts
You don’t have to go out in the cold to get a good workout in! Gym workouts are great as they have all the equipment you could ever need, but home workouts can also be extremely effective. Try following guides or workout videos to get in your daily exercise without even leaving the house.
The most important thing is that you keep moving! Your muscles need to have good circulation to be able to function properly during everyday life. The only way you can increase your circulation is by moving your muscles! If you’re sitting at a desk all day make sure you’re getting up to walk around every once in a while. Also, remember to stretch your body regularly.
In addition to stretching, you could try using muscle recovery equipment like a foam roller or massage gun. These can be used after a workout to repair damaged muscle tissue, but they can also be used pre-workout and on rest, days to warm up the muscles and keep them healthy. Recovery equipment works by stimulating the blood flow to the muscles which improves flexibility, mobility and range of motion. This is especially important in the winter months to stop the muscles from getting stiff!