Top 5 ways to avoid getting sick & injured, training through winter.
Summer bodies are made in winter. This statement could not be more true. Once thing we know about winter, it gets cold.. really cold. You spend a lot of time in the the gym and you train hard but avoiding those who are sick is not enough. Training puts stress on your body and it is in the recovery from this stress that your body adapts and improves. So how do you survive the freezing cold winter and chase that summer body at the same time? Easy.. don't make it harder than it already is.
Here are our top 5 tips for training through winter in the gym.
Clothing selection. Travelling to and from the gym you need to make sure that you are dressed for the occasion. (even if you live across the street)
Prevention is the best cure here. Make sure you are not hanging around in the clothes you have trained and sweated in.
Bring a change of t-shirt & change of socks at least. Once your clothes are wet, they stay wet. You might feel warm still from the workout but the air temperature is cold and you have wet clothes in contact with your skin. This is a sure fire way to get sick.
Long sleeve t-shirts are a good idea, something "Dri-fit". This allows you to layer your clothes and remove layers as you progress to the workout.
It also gives you something dry to change into after the session.
Keep your extremities warm. Keeping your head warm is a great tip. Proper running gloves are a must for those early morning winter runs.
Using cycling Leg warmers under shorts with an ankle zip can be a good substitute for pants and make for an easy off/on process. You are likely to lose the most heat through the parts of your body that have the most surface area exposed like legs, so cover up.
Layering clothes is a good tip. You can remove layers as the workout goes on, add layers back afterward.
Contact germs. Germs like the flu have been reported to live outside the body on surfaces from 15 minutes up to 24 hours. It's important that you wipe down the equipment after use with the anti-bacterial wipes and avoid touching your face. Just another reason to bring a towel.
Cold joints injure easily. Joints don't work well when cold. Warm up in your layers and cool down in your dry clothes. Any stretching or mobility work should always take place after you have raised your heart rate and created some extra blood flow the the area you are about to stretch.
Stretching and warm-ups should be slower starting and last a little longer relative to the workout.
Use things like knee sleeves and wrist wraps to help the process along.
Rock Tape make a 7mm thick knee sleeve designed to keep your knees warm and supported for WODS and during lifting workouts where you might have longer rest periods and don't forget to cover back up in between sets.
Drink more water. This goes without saying. The excuses we hear about why people don't drink more water seem be never ending but usually boil down to " I don't like the taste" and "I have to got the the bathroom too much". If you have trouble keeping water in try adding a pinch or two of mineral salt to your water, the sodium will stop you from needing to get up every 5 minutes and you will get all the benefits of having more dissolved solids in your water which equates to a lot more minerals.
Someone once suggested to me that if you don't like the taste of water, you can add a couple of drops of essential oils to lighten the taste up. It wont taste like Fanta if you use essential orange oil but it's a nice little after taste hint of orange. *please don't use anything that wouldn't be good to digest. (I'm talking to you potpourri)
Before you notice you are sick you will see a significant rise or fall in your resting heart rate, indicating that your body is fighting off the start of infection.
You usually get sick around 7 days before you see any signs or symptoms so being proactive and over cautious, this is the key to surviving winter and staying fit and strong.