Written by Akesha Smith
Is The Cold Making You Unfit?
It is no shock to see the running pathways and parks bare with only the trees to keep themselves company when the winds started blowing. Thin layers of ice coating our pavements and fog misting over our air. Winter is coming they say…I would say winter is here already, and it could be our coldest winter yet!
But how is the winter affecting you? Have you even realised? Unlike when it’s warm, in the cold weather it reduces the amount of lubrication in your joint surface, making it feel harder to move around. The cold also drys out your skin, slows down your reaction time and also slows down the healing and inflammation process. With such severe conditions, outside accidents are more frequent with numerous bumps and knocks, thus putting the body under a lot of stress.
Not only does the winter weather affect our bodies but it also affects our behaviour. It is our natural instinct to stay clear of the cold and wrap up warm for the winter. We’ll choose to stay indoors where it is warm and cosy instead of battling the natural forces to go for a run. Even the very thought of the cold weather outside can change the minds of many to even go to the gym where it is warmer. The very fact of having to leave one’s house to go somewhere else discourages us.
Getting ill in the winter is a normal thing but it can be an absolute pain when you want to workout. Being ill decreases your energy levels and makes you feel more sluggish and fatigued than normal. The only thing you would want to do is to wrap up in your bed with some hot soup!
However, for those who don’t let the weather or illness fade them and switch on their workout mode, what are they doing to protect themselves. What can you do? There are many things that can be put into place to help you stay strong throughout the cold winter times.
First of all, making sure you take care of your inside is always a good start! You know what they say, when you feel good, you look good. So in order to take care of one’s self, start from the inside and work outwards. During the winter seasons, it’s good to keep your immune levels high and boost up on your Vitamin D and C. The winter weather attacks your body, therefore it’s best to keep these vitamins in stock during the colder months. Vitamins help to keep your skin firm, reduce fatigue and helps keep your immune system stronger, therefore they will help fight against any viruses that may be going around. Introducing more Vitamin D tablets into your diet through the winter, where for us Brits, the sun hardly shines, will help your body maintain its healthy daily functions.
Keeping on top of your iron levels is important, especially during the colder times. Having low iron levels can affect your life dramatically, especially those who undertake physical activity. Having low iron levels can cause low energy levels, fatigue and lack of movement. Iron supplements are ideal to take to help prevent this from happening.
Taking care of your body on the outside is slightly harder than taking care of your body internally. Where there are supplements to help strengthen you on the inside there isn’t much to help you on the outside and sometimes injuries that occur are unavoidable. The only way to help prevent injuries on the outside is to make sure you are taking care of your body accordingly. In winter the term “Train Smart” comes into play a lot more. Our muscles are colder, therefore less pliable which in turn if not trained right can cause injuries. Learning to train appropriately throughout the winter is key.
Overall injuries are inevitable and will carry on occurring as the body gets older. The only thing you can do is to make sure your vitamin intake and immune system are high. Having a healthy diet helps the body repair, recover and rebuild.