As the weather changes, so does our flexibility. Our muscles will tighten and our mobility will decrease. If you love to be active this is a serious matter! Keep reading to learn how to safely ease into your workouts.
Cold tight muscles are more prone to injury. The cold tightens up your muscles and they tend to react slower than normal. This makes pulling and straining a serious concern. Imagine trying to stretch a rubber band over a very big box. If you pull it hard and fast, it’ll snap in half. Slowly warm it up, and it will stretch to take the force of your pull. Now imagine putting that rubber band in the freezer for a while first. That’s your muscles in the winter. Flash-frozen rubber bands.
Therefor a gentle warm-up is key to preventing injury. Warming up will loosen your muscles and increase your range of motion.
For example, you can start with a light jog, squats, light jumping jacks, and ice-skaters to loosen up the hips. Repeat these exercises for about 10-15 minutes.
In case this is not obvious, warm up before you stretch.
A few great stretched once you're nice and warm would be:
Cat-Cow stretch- On your hands and knees, arch your back so that your belly is moving towards the ground and look up, and then slowly transition the arch and tuck your tail bone looking towards your belly button. Go through this motion 4-6 times.
Bridge stretch: Laying supine, with your knees bent, lift your hips up to the sky pushing the ground with your heels. Keep your core engaged and breathe. Count to 5 and then reset. Repeat this 4-6 times.
Stretch your quads with a standing quad stretch. Standing on one foot (you can hold something for balance) Take your right foot into your right hand and keep you knees side by side. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch.
These are just a few stretches to get you going. When it comes to stretching, the more the merrier!
Our last piece of advice or you this season is to layer up!
Dress warm to start your workout. You will get the most out of your warm up by doing this. Then you can peel off a layer when its time to stretch, and maybe even another layer when you are ready to get your sweat on!
Sources: JaimieLeeFit, https://breakingmuscle.com/