It is often times difficult staying active during the winter months. We find ourselves staying indoors as the climate can be unpredictable. Despite the challenges we face to keep active, if you are an avid runner, getting back into running or looking to begin your first running program now is as good of time to start as any. As your physical therapy experts, we encourage all of our patients and non-patients to be mindful when getting beginning an exercise program and staying active. We recommend you take into consideration your body may take some time getting back into that ideal running shape. Please see the tips that will help you stay injury free this late winter season.
Proper Warm Up & Stretching
It is always good idea to get a proper warm up in before you head out into the cool air. This will get your muscles prepared for work. You should be stretching your legs, back, shoulders and neck. In addition your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles are also extremely important to stretch out as you may need to get your muscles warm in preparation for your workout. It may be helpful for you to use a chair for balance if necessary to balance yourself.
Look For Even Firm Ground
Running on a flat surface is important when you are trying to recover or prevent injury. Uneven surfaces can cause your ankles and feet to over-pronate on one foot and supinate on the other. The sidewalks in our area can be unpredictable in terms of a clear pathway. Our weather is just as unpredictable. One day we have snow, the next sun. It is important to be aware of the surfaces you run on to best prevent falling or slipping. If you can’t make it out, don’t forget you always have a gym or treadmill option.
Stay Hydrated While Running: Even If You Do Not Feel Thirsty
It’s easy to drink less water in the winter because of the cooler temperatures. Hydration is important for injury prevention regardless of the season. Not to mention the increase of water consumption is good for digestion and your muscle repair. It is important to stay hydrated throughout the day pre and post workout.
Be sure to keep your body covered, as well wearing a had and gloves in these colder temperatures, winter hats, socks and gloves may all be necessary even if you feel warm. You also may feel like you don’t need the extra layer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. You will chill down very quickly upon completion of your run.
Winter running can be a lot of fun, but be sure to take the proper precautions in order to prevent injury while being active. Contact any one of our locations for any further tips in staying active and keeping injury free during these winter months. Knowledge. Passion. Results. We are here for you!