It's cold outside....
The cold winter days have truly set in this week. And if you're anything like me, your hands and feet are struggling!
Yesterday morning I took my dog for a walk without realising how cold it actually was! Rather than turning back to change in to something warmer, I carried on thinking I'd 'warm up'. BIG MISTAKE. Not only did my feet get wet as the damp from the grass soaked straight through my trainers. After 45 minutes of being outside, I could no longer feel my hands (anyone with Raynaud's or poor circulation I'm sure is aware of the pain! And the dread of the further pain as your fingers warm back up again!).
Luckily I had the 'ball thrower' with me which meant I could keep my hands in my sleeves!
Unluckily.......I tried to outsmart the dog my changing directions as I threw the ball, causing an immediate strain through my groin (the pain!).
All because I was so cold I was completely tensed, inflexible and shivering! The walk home and evening clinic weren't fun to say the least! (Although I think some clients had a good laugh at me struggling to get up and down from my work station!)
Hopefully I've given you a bit of a laugh at my expense. But in all seriousness, I really want you to avoid making the same mistakes!
With Christmas and New Years resolutions looming, many of you will be thinking about new years exercise plans. Clinic often see's an influx of sports related injuries in January/February, so here's a little information to try to keep you injury free!.
There's plenty of research in to how our body's respond in different temperatures. But some important facts are as follows:
"Research has shown the risk of tearing a muscle or a straining injury is higher in cold weather" (And if the met office is anything to go by, this winter is set to be a cold one!)
"The body's natural shiver responses and reduced circulation in cold conditions increases the risk of injury" (Basically exactly what happened to me earlier this week).
That's why it's important to do an appropriate warm up. wear appropriate clothing (including footwear) and carry out a cool down to maintain flexibility. Ensure to change out of sweaty, wet clothes immediately to prevent body temperature lowering.
If you're exercising outdoors it's SO important to ensure you have suitable lights and reflective gear so that you are visible! (Don't be the person cycling or running down the country lane with no lights!). If you can't exercise with someone, let somebody know where you are going and what time to expect you back. There's even some great tracker apps available - if that's something you are comfortable with! (e.g. Find my Friends app)
Don't forget to hydrate in the cold! You probably won't sweat as much or feel as thirsty, but it is still important to rehydrate after exercise! (There's some fantastic, sustainable water bottle available on the market now with 'easy grip' handles for sports).
And as always; if you are concerned about pain or an injury book in an appointment as soon as possible to get yourself on track!
Have a history of injuries that stop you from continuing with your exercise regime throughout the year? Book in for a visit and we can assess the underlying cause!