Preparing for Cooler Weather

Oct
4

Posted by Coach Amanda Leibovitz

Welcome to autumn! As summer has drawn to a close and the temperature starts to drop, it’s important to remember some important “cold weather training” trips to keep our bodies injury free and functioning at full capacity.

Though some of us take pride in our ability to bear the elements with minimal protection, we should also remember that just because we can doesn’t mean we should. A key point to keep in mind is that our bodies were designed to function optimally at warmer temperatures – 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, to be exact. Therefore, as our core temperature drops, our bodies will adaptively shunt blood away from our large muscle groups to our core to protect our vital organs. Pretty neat, huh? The obvious issue is that while exercising, we want to keep the blood flowing to our large muscle groups because those are the ones that power our bike and run. One of the easiest ways to keep our core warm AND muscles full of oxygenated blood is to wear appropriate clothing. For those worried about becoming too warm, the easiest solution is to layer up!

Another simple practice we can incorporate into our cold weather training is to emphasize the “warm up” period before engaging in the meat and potatoes of your training. In general, we use a warm up to increase blood flow and get the muscles loosened up and ready for action… No matter the weather, it is an especially important pre-performance routine. However, in cold weather, it gains even more significance. Imagine that your muscles are silly putty; at room temperature it is flexible but once it gets warmed up in your hands it becomes extremely malleable. Have you ever put silly putty in the freezer? Pull on it right away and it breaks, but take the time to warm it up and it’s like it was never frozen. The same goes for our muscles!

Enjoy the changing seasons and remember to be mindful of wearing appropriate clothing and allowing your body enough time to warm up before each training session. These easy practices can go a long way in keeping you fit and healthy in the winter months!

~ Coach Amanda

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