Doing sport in winter means following a few rules to never get chilled or dehydrated and to make sure your body gets the energy it needs to keep up. Follow our tips to train safely.
1. DRESS RIGHT
Before heading outside, make sure you're properly dressed. When it's cold, your body spends most of its energy on staying warm. Layering is the best way to keep chills at bay. But don't overdo it! The harder you work out, the warmer you'll get and the more you'll sweat - and being damp will make you feel chilled. When your body gets cold, your circulation will slow, which increases your risk for injury. Choose insulating and breathable synthetic fabrics that will keep you dry during your workout. Take special care to keep your extremities covered - they are the most exposed to the cold. Wear a hat and gloves. If the temperatures still have you feeling icy, try heat packs for your hands or feet.
2. WARM UP
When the mercury drops, your risk of injury rises! Doing sport no matter what may be honourable, but winter workouts require some extra vigilance. To get your workout off right, never skip your warm-up. Your body needs to get moving gradually to warm up your muscles and be ready for a harder effort, and this is even more true when it's cold out. By warming up properly, your blood vessels dilate and your circulation will be ready for your workout. Do a few active stretches to prevent pulled muscles: knee raises, butt kicks, squats, side galloping, etc. You can also skip rope for a few minutes for some cardio. Don't hesitate to extend your warm-up: when it's cold out, your muscles, ligaments and tendons need more time to relax.
3. EAT LIGHT
Eating heavier when it's cold out: necessary or not? Marie Fauchille, nutritionist at Aptonia, addresses this issue. "When doing sport in cold weather, you need to make sure to cover your energy needs. But that doesn't mean eating heavy, fatty foods. Instead, add extra carbs (complex carbohydrates such as whole cereals, pasta, rice, legumes, potatoes, etc.) and limit your fat intake. Denis Riche, a French specialist in micronutrition, says that "the best food for doing sport in the cold are those that support your muscles, i.e., carbohydrates. You don't need to have extra fat if you're dressed properly, eat enough and keep moving."
4. STAY HYDRATED
While you may feel less thirsty in winter than summer, you still need to stay properly hydrated. Remember that when it's cold, you sweat just as much as in summer. Cold air is less humid than warm air, which stimulates water loss through the respiratory tract. Ever felt an unpleasant burning feeling in the back of your throat during a winter workout? Whether at the gym or outdoors, remember to drink regularly: have a sip of a sports drink every ten minutes or so.
5. MOVE INDOORS!
Too cold outside for sport? No worries - Domyos has you covered! Why not bring your workout indoors and hit the treadmill, cross training or rowing machine to keep up your training? Fitness at home on cardio equipment is a great way to stay fit no matter what the weather is doing! What are the benefits? You can improve your cardio, build muscle, lose weight and feel great all from the comfort of your own home. You might also want to try a group class at the gym - there's something for everyone: cycling, boxing, Zumba®, glutes & abs, step, stretching and more. And if you can't make it to the gym, try taking a live fitness class with Domyos LIVE. It's a totally free service - don't miss out!