Summer is over. The days of training in the heat are nearly done, and now athletes all around the UK must prepare themselves for the upcoming cool months.
While some athletes love cold weather training, there are others who dread the experience. Never fear; Xterra Fitness UK is here with some advice on how to prepare your body for training in the cold weather, and prepare for the icy chill of the UK winter!
1. Always Warm Up Before Exercising In The Cold
One of the best ways to keep your body from being overly-affected by the cold is to warm up your muscles effectively during your cold weather training. The cold makes your muscles contract, which can lead to feelings of stiffness and pain if you attempt to exercise without warming up.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to implement a warm-up routine that you can do indoors, where temperatures are still warm. This lets you stretch out and warm up your muscles.
It’s best to use cardio equipment that warms up the muscles you’ll use during your workout – a treadmill, if you’re planning on running outside, for example.
However, even if you don’t have cardio equipment from Xterra Fitness UK, you can warm up with a 10 minute jump-rope workout, or any other activity that gets your blood pumping, and will warm up your muscles before heading out in the chilly weather.
2. Understand Your Tolerance For The Cold
Some people loveworking out in cold conditions, and others can’t stand it. It’s important to understand what levels of cold you can tolerate, and how your body responds to the cold to optimize your cold weather training.
Factors like the climate in which you grew up, your body weight, and your gender can all affect your ability to handle the cold. A 90-lb woman who grew up in a temperate climate, for example, may not be able to handle the same temperatures at a 160lb man who has lived in colder weather for his entire life.
3. Layer Up – And Dress For The Weather
As a rule, you want to dress in layers during cool weather. This allows you to take off layers of clothing as you train, and can also prevent excess moisture – but we’ll talk about that in the next section.
Typically, you’ll want to dress as if it’s 10-20 degrees warmer outside. This is because the heat your body produces will spike dramatically as you work out.
Gloves are recommended after the temperature hits about 10 degrees Centigrade, and it’s usually a good idea to wear a hat to protect your ears from the winter chill.
4. Prepare For Sweat during your cold weather training
Even in bitterly cold weather, you’re going to sweat – and sweat is an extremely effective cooling mechanism. If you’re only wearing a single layer of clothing during your workout, you clothes may become soaked in sweat – and the wind and air passing over your sweaty clothing will suck the heat right out of your body.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to always wear at least 2 layers if the temperature is near freezing. Having an additional layer of clothing prevents sweat from evaporating as quickly, and ensure you can maintain a safe core temperature.
5. Eat More Carbs During Colder Months
Your glycogen stores are depleted more quickly when it’s cold. Your muscles shiver more, and must consume more energy to work efficiently. This can leave you vulnerable to fatigue during longer workouts, or intense training sessions.
To combat this, you should eat more during the colder months, especially before athletic events or intense training sessions. Simple and complex carbohydrates are perfect for this. By consuming healthy sources of sugars and carbohydrates regularly, you can ensure that your glycogen stores are fully replenished when working out in the cold.
6. Don’t Be Afraid Of Indoor Training
One of the keys to training in cold weather is to make use of indoor training equipment. When it’s -10C outside with a high wind chill, you’re not going to be able to get a good workout in – that’s just a fact.
Whether you join a gym to use their cardio equipment in winter, or have a home gym with cardio equipment from Xterra Fitness UK, you should have a backup plan to train when weather conditions are simply unbearable.
Follow These Tips – And Train Like A Pro In The Cold Weather!
The cold isn’t your enemy. With these simple tips from Xterra Fitness UK, you can take on the bitter cold of winter with no fear – and ensure that your athletic training isn’t interrupted by a little cold, rain, or snow. So follow this advice, prepare yourself for the cooler months, and get ready to train harder than you ever have before!
Hope you enjoyed our tips for cold weather training!