When Autumn creeps in, it’s easy to loose your stride with training as it becomes darker earlier & the temperatures plummet. Here a few strategies to keep motivated whilst avoiding injury this winter.
Don’t become a Weekend Warrior
When the nights become darker it may become harder to motivate yourself to exercise either side of work, this is really common. However, the down side to this, by only exercising at the weekends your put your body at a greater risk for injury.
A weekend Warrior is classified as someone who exercises for 150 mins or more in 1 or 2 days rather then spreading it out over the week. By doing this the muscles are put under extra strain, performing actions at a high impact without any maintenance in the week to support them. Recipe for Disaster!
Although of course, the weekends are the best time for us to get out & active. If your unable to get out during the week, try creating a conditioning, stretching & strengthening routine at home, to keep your muscles strong & supple to support you during your weekend workouts!
Finding the strength to go out & train when it’s dark & cold is so much easier when you have a goal your trying to reach!
It is also a great motivation to have a friend with the same goal. You can train together, give each other reminders & check each other progress. Training with a friend is a great support when motivation begins to slip.
Check your Treads
As winter kicks in, so does Jack frost!
Just as you would your car, you need to maintain the treads on your shoes or bike tyres. If they are worn, this means there is less friction, putting you in a vulnerable place for injury in winter when the ground becomes slippery.
It is important to ensure the body is warm during exercise to avoid injury. As the temperature’s plummet, wrap on more layers to ensure your muscles are protected from injury. Layering allows you to accommodate your body’s constantly changing temperature.
If you experience some form of joint pain in life you may find that cold weather exacerbates it making you feel stiffer in colder climates. The best way to combat this is to spend more time doing dynamic mobility work to your joints before you run/exercise. In simple terms, a good warm up that focuses on joint mobility & movement with help to ease that stiffness.
When its cold we preserve body heat to where it’s most needed, the organs such as heart & lungs, so blood flow is mainly directed here, as a result the extremities are restricted, meaning our stiff knees have less blood flow directed to them then we would like! So by focusing your warm up on the specific areas you feel stiffness, if helps to focus the blood to that area, keeping our old injuries warm as the body temperature increases.
It is during the winter months that a strong core & overall stronger stability is really important. Winter means leaves are on the floor, there is a more rain or snow making the ground slippery so we need to prevent injury on these testing terrains.
Including a strengthening exercise for the ankle’s & maintaining good core control into you routine is Vital.