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Friday, January 18, 2013

Ways To Prevent Injury During Winter Months

So after noticing how this cold weather is directly affecting the number of people running outside and training in cold weather I have decided to make it public that this training is PERFECTLY fine with a few protocols that need to be followed in order to avoid injury.
If you are like my clients and during the colder months you have to go from being very cold and inactive to a period of immediate activity and getting warm, then this can be beneficial to you!

1.) Stay Hydrated!
I can’t tell you enough times I have clients come in for a workout and think its the weather that is hindering their progress and making them have bad sessions, HOWEVER, the colder weather can have a direct correlation to your hydration levels.  Many of you do not feel the urge to hydrate when it is colder outside, but listen…your body needs fluid, your muscles need fluid.  They need adequate amounts of water to allow proper function of all your muscle groups.  Just try drinking 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning! Especially if you are training that day! It will prevent cramping, fatigue, and injury!

2.) Vitamins
Enough said here.  Who in the right mind can train at high levels ling off chips and cookies? Your body needs all the essential vitamins and minerals to function properly. Not a fruit & Veggie person? Try a supplement! Make sure you take it with food, but I would much rather you get your vitamins through natural foods.

3.) Get Enough Salt
Contrary to popular belief, salt is not the hated aspect of your diet.  Its actually very crucial for performing at high levels.  If your body does not have enough salt, you can be asking for an injury!
Why?
Sodium is a required element for normal body functions. It is lost in sweat and urine and is replaced in the diet. The body has a remarkable ability to maintain sodium and water balance throughout a variety of conditions, thus ensuring our survival. Ultraendurance events challenge this survival mechanism.

4.) PROPER warm up
This is the most important aspect of preventing injury! NO, warm-up does not mean standing around talking and stretching a few muscles here and there! Take your body through a dynamic warm-up involving movements mimicked during your routine.  For example, I do squats, lunges, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, stick ups, roll outs, high knees, butt kicks….you name it! Its all about getting your muscles properly accustomed to the force you are about to place on them.

5.) Heating Pad
During cold months, go to your nearest drug store and grab a heating pack! I believe we have 1/2 dozen lying around in our house! These are great tools to isolate tight muscle areas and get them warm before exercise.  Back in my college playing days, I would be sitting on about 4 before I would head out to practice.  Not once did I ever pull a muscle! Give them a try!

6.) KEEP MOVING!
Are you at a desk all day? Then coming straight to the gym for a workout? Bad idea if you haven’t moved your body all day and there is freezing temperatures outside!  I can’t stress enough how important it is to GET UP and walk around the office if you have too! Take your phones calls and walk! Being in a seated position for long periods of time can alter posture and start bad muscle tendencies. You do not want to have to see a therapist or training to get them fixed.  Just do me a favor and get up every hour and walk!

7.) Dress Warm
Make sure you are dressed properly for the weather! Your body needs to be warm. Trying to exercise while cold is not a great idea, so starting with several layers is a great option! Eventually, you can drop layers during your session once your body warms up!

8.) Eat!
I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to properly fuel your body! Day after day I see new clients who come to me for a workout and end up dying 1/3 of the way through.  There is NO REASON anyone should not finish a workout. I do not care if I had to regress every exercise.  But if you have to completely stop because you are getting dizzy, lightheaded, or even sick to your stomach…guess what….it’s NOT your fitness level holding you back….it’s your NUTRITION. I am not a dietician but offer great advice and do know that a majority of the reasons clients stop during workouts is due to poor nutrition.  Period. So, make sure you are eating every 3-4 hours.  It doesn’t have to be much, but your body needs the nourishment to help you train at a high level.
Now, with that being said, if you are going to hop on the recumbent bike or elliptical for your workout, that’s a different story! But if your coming to me or to a gym where you are resistance training, MCT & MRT training, then fuel.  Not only does lack of nutrition affect your performance, it DRAMATICALLY slows down your metabolism….which then makes fat loss nearly impossible and gets your hormones out of whack.
Well, there you have it! A few tips for injury prevention during these cold months! If you start feeling a little nagging injury, feel free to message me and I will give you exercises to do to help!
As always, stay strong!

Tip of The Day:
Surround yourself with positive people. If you want to succeed in life, you cannot always be around those who bring you down or make bad choices in life! The one main reason as to why I am getting through a 12-14 month injury is because of the fantastic support I have in my life! If I let negative, guess what, I have a bad day.  But so far it’s been 6 months since my accident and I couldn’t be happier! Stay motivated, Stay positive!

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