Friday, November 22, 2013

Winter Sports - 3 basics

Gearing up for winter not only means shorter days and cooler temperatures, but also can bring on a completely different set of interests and activities.  Whether you are one who does a similar activity all year, like runners, or someone who changes with the season, you should still follow a few common sense activities with the winter season:

1.  Warm Up:  allow 5 more minutes of warm up time.  This can be in the form of slower stretches, light running or taking that time to ramp up to the full activity.  Muscles, ligaments, joint and blood flow all function and perform better when "warmed up".  In winter, that process needs a little extra time.

2.  Keep Warm:  keep warm and loose during exercise.  If you are playing basketball, putting the warm up on while taking a break.  If its an outdoor sport, having layers to better managed your body's heat.

3.  Hydration:  this is a no-brainer during warmer months, but often gets overlooked during the winter. Skiing, running, football and other outdoor sports in cold weather often don't give you the "thirst" signals until you are really thirsty.  Maintaining a balanced electrolyte level is critical to keeping muscles working, avoiding fatigue and generally keeping the activity fun!