Embrace the cold! – Paul O’Neill AEP

The big isolation of 2020 looks to be drawing to a close. Restrictions are starting to be eased and people are starting to look forward to getting out of their homes and getting life back to ‘normal’ again. For some, the light at the end of the tunnel has been all the motivation they need to get back into exercise so the freezing cold weather that we have had the last couple of days couldn’t have come at a worse time. Nothing stops exercise dead in its tracks quite like a cold, windy, wet day.

For others this freezing weather might slow them down but won’t stop them! It is always great to see people braving the elements to get out and exercise, however there are a couple of things to keep in mind before racing out into that dark, cold, windy weather.

1: Check the weather forecast before leaving the house. This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how easy it is to get stuck in atrocious weather.

2: Ensure you are wearing the appropriate clothing for the activity and weather you are about to face. Have a think about everything from the shoes you are wearing and how much grip they have in the wet, to a face mask to protect your face and lungs from freezing cold winds.

3: Don’t overdress. While you do need to ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the conditions, it is important to note that your body will generate a significate amount of heat when you do start to get your heart rate going. Make sure that you are comfortable, but maybe don’t wear your ski jacket out on that 5km run!

4: Don’t forget to keep your fluids up. It’s cold and wet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get dehydrated. You may not feel like you need as much to drink in the cold but ensuring you drink a similar amount to what you would if you were exercising in the summer will keep you hydrated and improve your performance.

5: Complete a thorough warm up! As we move into the colder months this becomes extremely important. The fastest way to sustain an injury is to go from sitting at work or on the couch, to working at 100% in a mater of minutes. Your body needs time to warm-up and prepare for vigorous activity, especially in the cold, so take some time (10-15mins) to slowly build up to your workout.

Now you can get out, embrace the cold weather and experience all the fantastic benefits that regular exercise brings!

If you would like any other ideas or resources then this week is a perfect time to jump online and checkout all the free videos, education, exercise sessions and Q&A’s at https://exerciseright.com.au/exercise-right-week-2020/. Exercise Right week is a great indicative by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) that provides fantastic resources to ensure you are getting all the amazing physical and mental health benefits that regular exercise, physical activity and movement can provide.