Ready. Set. Winter. As the alarm goes off and the crispy cool morning makes you want to stay in bed, it’s time for actionable insights to get you fit and active.
In preparing for winter sports and activities, there are easy ways to get you training safely and thinking ahead. It’s important that you don’t let the cold climate set you back from your fitness wins and wonderful progress.
Here’s what to keep top of mind as you venture outside during the coming weeks:
#1 Programs Set yourself up for success
Whether it’s running, bushwalking or cycling, assess how you’d like to structure your winter activities and training.
From weekly programs to longer term goals, a set schedule can help you prepare mentally and physically. It’s important during the winter months to stagger your training to have adequate time to rest and recuperate before the next session.
Regular programs offer you the opportunity to connect with others and get the encouragement and guidance you need. From a social perspective, along with motivational support, a set program can give you the structure required in a busy week.
Programs can also accelerate your commitment—providing you with less room to press the snooze button when you know your team or training buddies are looking forward to seeing you!
#2 Purpose Understand what drives you
We all know that training can sometimes be harder in the winter months—whether it’s the early morning darkness or the fresh air that’s a shock to the system! Having a clear purpose and making sure you understand your “WHY” is crucial to keeping you going and staying focused.
Think through key questions such as:
What do you want to achieve? What activity in winter brings you the most joy? What benefits will you see by keeping up your training schedule through the rain or roadblocks?
If you’re looking for some friendly support along with an energised boost, talk to our talented team at Excel who can help you prepare for winter exercise—so you’re on track, on time and 1,000 steps ahead.
#3 Protection Warm up with the right wardrobe
Cold hands, toes, nose? During the coming months it’s vital to protect your body and extremities from the harshness of winter. Whether it’s rain or wind right through to plummeting temperatures, your body will thank you for taking the time to think through some careful preparation and planning on what to wear and how to train safely.
While you don’t need to break the bank, it’s important to invest in adequate apparel and wearables to brace the cold outdoors.
Wearing fabrics that dry quickly can help you to rise above the elements. Having anti-slip and robust shoes can make the world of difference. And keeping warm from head to toe can enable you to prevent muscle injuries.
And don’t forget the crucial addition! Sunscreen. Yes, even in the dark or damp winter months, you’d be surprised how many people experience sunburn. Apply it early and frequently to stay moisturised and protected.
#4 Pre-workout Start slowly
Before you set out for your next run, bushwalk or cycle, make sure you put a pre-workout high on your agenda. Especially during the cold of winter, your body needs more time to warm up and become accustomed to the harsh elements.
A pre-workout can help get your blood pumping and your muscles ready to train. While pre-workouts can differ for everyone, depending on your activity and level, it’s all about doing small bursts of exercises to get your body moving.
Think: adequate stretching, running on the spot, light rounds of jump-rope, getting your heart rate up, small sets of push-ups and leg raises. All of these mini-activities can help you build up resilience and strength to then launch into your full winter workout.
#5 Post-workout Wind down wisely
In the winter months, it’s easy to want to quickly finish your training, dash indoors and focus on the next thing. But it’s essential to protect your muscles, joints and body by paying close attention to your post-workout schedule.
Make sure you incorporate some post-workout stretches into your routine to ensure a well-rounded end to your winter workout.
Another key tip to stay on top of is to always remember to drink lots of water post-workout! During the colder months, it’s easy to get distracted but with sweating you can become dehydrated. Ensure that post work-out you are drinking enough water to keep your body hydrated and healthy.
What’s next for you in winter?
At Excel, we’re here to work with you to continue to achieve the very best results. Unlock your winter potential with our training, online/studio classes or physiotherapy solutions. Get in touch with our team to find out more and stay well this winter by keeping our five tips handy.