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Tips for training in winter

Posted by on 6 April 2016 | 1 Comments

You can exercise outside in the cold and the rain. Changes in temperature and air quality strengthen the immune system so you can even benefit from them and the body counteracts the cold with an increased pulse rate (thermoregulation), which increases energy consumption immensely, make training even more efficient. Nevertheless, it is important that you follow a few rules in winter, because the cold can be harmful.

1. Make sure that you do a more thorough warmup

Your body also takes longer to warm up in winter. A cold start can result in injury, since training without an adequate warm up can lead to shock in muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

2. Keep moving

Once you have completed your training, cool down for a few minutes before moving immediately into the warmth in order to stretch, so that your muscles do not become stiff. In winter, muscles cool down very quickly, so any by-products from contraction cannot be flushed out of the bloodstream in time. This results in painful muscle spasms and even injury. If you push hard at the end of your training session, make sure you don’t sit or lie down immediately after reaching exhaustion. This will cause circulation to drop very fast and your muscles will stiffen.

3. Dress warmly

It is easy to underestimate temperatures, especially when you’ve spent the day indoors ahead of your training, or if the wind picks up when you are out. Wear enough layers and that the extremities are covered since they radiate a large amount of heat.

4. Train during the day

When possible, choose morning or noon to schedule your training. This time of day it is not only the warmest, but is also when the sun is best positioned to stimulate the production of Vitamin D. In winter, many people suffer a vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin which is particularly important for bones and joints and in also lifting the spirits.

5. Don’t stay too long outside

After training, make sure that you get into the warmth and take off any wet or sweaty clothes, because directly after exposure, the immune system is particularly weak and vulnerable. During this timeframe, the body is particularly susceptible to colds and infections.

6. Consider your breathing

The colder the air, the greater the stimulus to the bronchi, lungs and mucous membranes. On the one hand, the cold forces the bronchial tubes to narrow, while also reduces the capacity of mucous membranes to stay moist. The typical burning or irritation of the throat is felt when a lot of cold air is inhaled, causing a slight inflammation and a very clear sign that it is too cold to exercise in the fresh air. Pay attention to this as much as possible by inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Breathing like this gives air a longer route to the lungs and so more time to be moistened and heated through the nasal mucosa and mouth. The airway that passes through the mouth is moistened and heated during exhalation, enabling efficient breathing through this channel when necessary.

7. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

Be sure to support your immune system with a balanced, vitamin and mineral rich diet! Fruits and vegetables should already be the focus of your diet. Any form of root vegetables, all types of cabbage and winter salads such as lettuce, chicory or radicchio should regularly be on your plate. Winter fruit like tangerines, pomegranates and all-season varieties like pears and apples provide you with an extra dose of vitamins to make you resistant to the cold.




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