Recovery Tips For Working Out In The Cold
Here’s the cold truth about exercising outdoors when the temperature dips. Cold weather can actually be beneficial when it comes to your workout. Studies have shown that training outdoors in cooler temperatures can enhance endurance, and that cold weather can shift body fat composition. All of which means you can still accomplish your training goals in the cold. But one thing to keep in mind when the mercury dips: Recovery may require a bit of extra work and attention.
As any workout enthusiast knows, proper recovery allows you to perform at an optimum level. When you maximize recovery, you put yourself on a path to lowering stress levels, bolstering your immune system, improving sleep, minimizing inflammation, and decreasing muscle soreness.
The following five tips can enhance your recovery from winter workouts. Because when the weather changes, maximizing your recovery means you’ll never have to quit your exercise routine, cold turkey.
Include Dynamic, Not Static, Stretching In Your Routine
As you probably already know, static stretching involves holding still in a specific position for a certain period of time (think forward fold or quad stretch). But when your muscles are cold, static stretching can lead to injury. Consider practicing dynamic stretching, which involves stretching through a movement such as swinging your leg forward and back or completing arm circles.
Suit Up Right When The Temperature Goes Down
The high-tech fabrics used in today’s workout clothing can help optimize not only your workout but also your recovery. For example, certain fleece products use infrared technology and mineral-infused fabrics designed to reduce fatigue and help you recover faster. By recycling energy that helps to increase localized circulation, you’re actually initiating recovery while you’re still in the process of working out.
The Foam Roller Is Your Friend
If your foam roller has been buried under a pile of old clothing in your closet since, well, you can’t remember when – it’s time to renew your relationship with this important tool of recovery. Self-myofascial release is known for soothing muscle soreness and tightness, which can speed up recovery. In addition, foam rolling may be safer than standard stretching if you’re looking to relieve cold muscle soreness as it doesn’t induce lengthening of muscle fibers.
Add A Dash Of Epsom Salt To Your Recovery
Adding Epsom salt to a warm bath is a quick and easy way to ease muscle soreness and take the chill off after you’ve been working out in the cold. Research has shown that warming your body temperature helps to improve musculoskeletal function, soften ligament and articular capsule collagen, and relax muscles that have tightened from a winter workout or a wicked wind chill – or both.
Here’s A Solid Piece Of Advice: Hydrate With Liquids Warmed To Room Temperature
When you train, you lose electrolytes and fluids as you sweat, which is why sufficient hydration is so important. But did you know that staying hydrated during recovery is also extremely beneficial? Maintaining hydration after a training session or a workout can limit heat stress, reduce fluid loss, and support a healthier heart rate. To reap the full benefits of hydration when you’re working out in cold weather, consume water or electrolyte drinks that have been held at room temperature or slightly warmer than that.