How the Cold Weather Affects Your Muscles and What You can Do About It
Posted on 17th January 2020 at 10:00
We’re seeing lots of clients who are struggling with the cold weather at the moment. Although it’s fairly mild for the time of year, it’s still not much fun out there for our clients who go running or cycling.
Cold weather causes muscles to lose more heat and contract, causing tightness throughout the body. Joints get tighter, muscles can lose their range of motion, and nerves can more easily be pinched. Muscles are forced to work much harder to complete the same tasks that they complete easily in milder weather. This causes more damage to the muscle tissue and can result in increased soreness, discomfort or pain.
It is normal to feel muscle soreness for a few days after exercise, especially if it’s a different type of activity or at a more intense level than your body is used to. If you feel more sore in the winter after the same level of exercise than you do the rest of the year, it could be that your body needs a longer warm-up period.
Try beginning your workout with light cardio exercises, like brisk walking. This will raise your core temperature and ensure that oxygen and blood are flowing throughout your body. A basic rule of thumb is that you should warm up for 10 minutes when the temperature is around 4 degrees. For each 2-degree temperature drop, extend your warm-up by five minutes.
Follow your workout with a cool-down that takes about the same length of time as the warm-up and includes static stretching. Schedule regular maintenance massages to improve your muscles’ recovery time, condition and flexibility and to reduce the risk of injury.
If you’re feeling in need of a warm-up and to ease of those tense or injured muscles, contact us to book in a sports massage. We’ll have you feeling toasty and relaxed.
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