Sometimes getting motivated to go out and train is difficult enough, but when the weather outside is cold and wet it can be even more challenging. Added to that, the cold conditions also create more demands on the muscles and joints and make it harder to achieve your optimum performance. Here are some simple tips to help you exercise most effectively in the cold weather.
The technology in clothing for outdoor sports has improved massively over the last few years. Innovations in materials have led to big performance improvements so that you can get protection in lightweight, well fitting, less bulky apparel. Breathable fabrics, moisture wicking technology and compression protection for the muscles are all features to look out for.
Multiple layers are more effective than fewer bulky items and definitely make use of a well fitting base layer to get you started. We are big fans of the Under Armour cold gear base layer products www.underarmour.co.uk
Warm up and stretching
A proper warm up will help you perform at your best and reduce the risk of injury whatever the weather, however, it’s even more important in the cold weather. Take time to stretch all your key muscle groups, dynamic stretching is especially good in the cold. Using a warming muscle rub as part of your warm up will help too. A vigorous hands-on massage of the cream into the key muscle groups will accelerate your warm up, help you make deeper, more effective stretches and get you started faster. Look for a product that uses natural active ingredients – Bullet & Bone’s Muscle Activating Rub contains ginger and black pepper to naturally warm the muscles (and it has a pleasant fresh fragrance unlike many heat rubs!).
Nutrition and hydration
Important in all weathers, but being properly fuelled up will help you stay warm in the cold weather. There are some good rules to follow. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sports drinks like Coco Fuzion which provides great rehydration with the added benefits of coconut water facebook.com/fuzion100uk
Eating warm food when you can will help to maintain core body temperature and remember to snack every 30–45 minutes during exercise, easily digestible snacks such as energy bars and gels, trail mix or fruit are good and the Grenade range offers a great variety of formats and flavours www.grenade.com
Protect your skin
The cold and wet weather is particularly harsh on the skin. Cold, windy weather can lead to cracked, dry skin and damp weather can increase the risk of chafing sensitive areas, both of which are unpleasant and will also hamper your performance. Look to use a premium range of skincare products, the Bullet & Bone skincare range has been developed specifically for sports and uses natural active ingredients. The range contains a Protective Moisturising Spray, a Protect & Care Anti-Chafe Cream and an Intensive Care Foot Cream, all ideal to protect your skin in the cold weather and to help repair sore, damaged skin after exercise www.bulletandbone.com
We hope these tips and ideas will help you keep motivated and train at your best even in the cold weather.