The season of skiing, snowboarding, sledding, tobogganing, skating, cross country skiing, hockey and SO MANY MORE AMAZING ACTIVITIES!

 

When you start back into these activities don’t forget that your body isn’t use to the movements like they were the year before.

What I am referring to is, specificity; you may be fit and use to being active, but when you start an activity that your body has not been doing regularly, it needs time to adjust.

 

Now, I know, most of you have been doing these activities throughout your lives and have even been doing similar activities in the summer such as, snowboarding & skateboarding or skating & rollerblading. However, these are not exactly the same, so it will still take the body time to adjust back to the specificity needed for your winter sports.

 

To decrease the likelihood of injuring yourself while re-starting your activities, you can do a few basic things!

  • Warm Up
    • Before any physical activity you should do a proper warm up to get the muscles warm and ready for movement.
    • Start with an easier variation of your activity if available. If not, get on a bike or treadmill and jog or bike for 5-10 minutes at an slow -> average paced
    • Dynamic Stretch
      • These stretches involve swinging or twisting motions
        • Swing the arms; circles or across the chest
        • Swing the legs; front to back or side to side
        • Twist the Torso; Side to side or to the floor then to the sky
        • Leg Twists; Twist the knee to the opposing elbow
  • Drink Water,
    • The more water you have before exercise the more prepared your body will be to sweat and maintain muscle function.
      • ~2.5 cups; 2-3 hours before exercise
      • ~1 cup; 30 minutes before exercise
  • If you feel tired or pain, TAKE A BREAK
    • If you feel tired in an area or pain, your body is warning you
    • Take a break and do some more dynamic stretching, walk around.
    • Be sure not to sit or be sedentary during this break
  • Cool Down
    • The purpose of a cool down is to bring the heart rate down in a controlled manner so that your muscles and joints can adjust while it does.
    • Start with an easier variation of your activity if available. If not, get on a bike or treadmill and jog or bike for 5-10 minutes at an average -> slow pace.
  • Stretch
    • Do dynamic stretching again; swings and twists
    • Static stretches to finish off
      • Stretch all areas of the body; neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, torso, back, hips, bum, thighs, calves, ankles, etc.
      • Hold for at least 30 seconds
        • It takes at least 30 seconds for the muscles to realize you are stretching them and relax so that a true stretch is being felt
  • ICE and WATER
    • Don’t forget the water!
      • ~1 cup within 30 minutes of ending exercise
    • Ice the areas that were used the most, pain is already felt or places that you have been injured in in the past
      • The best form of ice is ice-cubes; ice will melt with the warm of the body therefore, will not allow for frostbite. Gel packs can be used if they are covered, if have direct contact with the skin it can cause frostbite to the skin.
      • Place on area for 15-20 minutes, then remove until the skin is back to normal temperature. You may then decide if you want to ice the area again,
      • You will feel sharp, achy pain -> tingling -> numbness

 

Another risk of doing activity when your body has not been use the movements is D.O.M.S (delayed onset muscle soreness). This is a recovery state of the muscles that happens after strenuous exercise, body-builders use it to build the muscles; athletes use it to ensure they are getting an adequate workout to build their strength and endurance. This could be felt a day after exercise up to a few days after; usually is at its worst two days after the exercise.

 

I hope you all have fun with your winter activities; I hope these tips help your body stay pain-free!

 

Be smart, be safe, be injury-free!

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