For most of us, the change of seasons means that it’s time to pay closer attention to the roads and trails on which we muuv! As the days become shorter, colder and potentially icier, there are a few things we can do to make sure we’re preventing injury this winter.
The colder months don’t just affect our wardrobes. The also affect our muscles’ ability to warm and loosen up at the beginning of a workout. If you’re planning to ride or run outside this winter, take five minutes to warm-up before you get your body muuving. Loosen up the muscles with some dynamic stretching and make sure that your legs are awake and limber before you put the miles on them!
Focus on Functional Mobility
Functional mobility is the control and range of motion that you have over your body. By strength training and regular stretching, you can increase your body’s ability to react more healthily to potential hyper-extension, rolled joints or over exertion. Focusing on functional mobility over the winter can help to stabilize your muscles and ligaments—making you a stronger and more confident athlete.
Running on snow/ice
If you are a runner and an overall winter warrior, it’s important to pay attention to the roads and trails this winter. Less stable conditions can easily lead to a rolled ankle, strained hamstring or other nasty injuries. When the treadmill just won’t do, make sure that your footwear is prepared to protect you on the roads. Extra traction is a smart place to start. To run more confidently in snowy/icy conditions, we suggest wearing micro or nano spikes over your running shoes. (Kahtoola is a favorite amongst Nuunies.)
Winter is a great time to slow down and pay attention to your form. Small form imperfections can lead to less than forgiving results when they are mixed with slippery, uneven terrain. Dedicate at least one workout a week to slowing down and paying attention to your posture and overall alignment.
Visiting a functional mobility specialist this winter can help you to identify areas for improvement in your form. These individuals will also help you create a plan to get your form in tip top shape.
Winter cross sport
For many, winter months mean more time spent on the mountain, enjoying winter sports. As many runners and cyclists know, being in “good shape” doesn’t always translate directly to winter sport shape. In order to prevent injury on the mountain, make sure to work on training other muscle groups that will need strengthening for your specific sport. Research to see if your local physical therapist offers any clinics for winter sports. Getting ahead of the game and training our bodies for cross-sport functionality will set us up for injury-free success!
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