As we step into another winter prepping our bodies, or armor, as I like to put it, we must deal with the daunting task of staying healthy and injury free. And if you're a diehard like me, you loathe the freak injuries that can result from poor preparation. Stop limit the chances of getting run down or injured during the colder months, consider following these five simple tips to keep you healthy and at the top of your game.

 

Wear Headwear


So let's go to the basics. I always wear a beanie and I'm always garbed in a sweat suit. Now other than looking cool, beanies serve a very vital part in injury and sickness prevention. That's because 70 percent of your body heat is expensed through your head, which leaves a mere 30 percent to keep you warm. Keeping your body temperature stable is one of the most important things you can do during the winter to maintain optimal health.

 

Warm Up


Make sure you have adequate warm up & cool down sessions. One of the best warm ups is the eliptical. It warms up everything and gets the blood flowing. I also love jump-roping. I'll incorporate 3 minutes of jumping rope into most workouts. Not only does it warm my muscles, but it sharpens my mental focus for the workout ahead. 

 

 

Be Mindful of Injury


Be aware of tendinitis or tendon soreness. These can be vital weakening signs of a strain before a tear. Always be mindful of how your body is functioning. What is normal muscular soreness, as opposed to what could potentially put you out of action for several weeks? Be proactive with treatments that minimize injury. Whether that be massage, acupuncture or the use of anti-inflammatory creams. Sometimes it's as simple as avoiding certain exercises that aggravate the affected area.

 

 

Use Lighter Weights


Don't be afraid to lighten the weight. Just because you decrease your weight, doesn't mean you decrease your intensity. Heavier weight puts a larger strain on joints that are not properly warmed in the winter. By super setting with lighter weights, you can create a great pump and generate the same degree of muscular soreness as when you lift heavy.

 

Stretch


When you work out, lactic acid builds up in your muscles. This often leads to muscle soreness and fatigue. Stretching after a workout helps to reduce muscle fatigue. Also, because your muscles are warm, you benefit from increased blood circulation. Stretching will help your muscles to recover faster from a tough workout. Muscle soreness is one of the reasons that many people skip exercising. When you stretch, the likelihood is much higher that you will proceed with your next workout and prevent future injury.


Stay Healthy and Minimize Injury This Winter

Follow these tips to avoid unnecessary injury during the winter months.

By Charles Flanagan