As winters are setting in, the cold weather brings in a season of staying indoors under blankets. It is this time of the season that most of us prefer lazily lying on bed and sipping a hot cup of coffee to beat winter blues. But the cold weather does bring with it joint pain and muscle pain as we tend to skip our workout routine. This puts us at risk of cold muscles and decreased mobility. And to add to that, the sluggish cold weather makes it all the more difficult for you to stay motivated about your health and fitness. But worry not because you can stay hit and healthy with a simple trick!
An important and easy way to overcome this laziness and say goodbye to winter blues is to warm up. Yes, a daily warm-up routine can bring back the zest in the winters back. Warming up your body is very important to stay fit and prevent injuries, irrespective of the weather condition. It becomes all the more important to follow a warm-up routine when you have the tendency of “snuggling up” during winters.
What is warm up?
A warm-up is a low-level activity, which should be completed prior to stretching or any form of strenuous exercise. The main purpose of the warm-up is to increase the overall body temperature and muscle temperature thereby promoting blood circulation which helps in preparing the entire body for vigorous activity. The warm-up period primes up your cardiovascular system, respiratory system, nervous system and the musculoskeletal system by a gradual increase in the demand on those systems which serves to raise the body to a necessary work capacity. The easiest way to notice it is by checking your sweat. If you start sweating, it means you have raised your body’s core temperature.
Make sure you do the warm-up before stretching. If one stretches the muscles without a prior warm-up, the muscles are more prone to injury as the muscles are cold and in the contracted stage because of the cold weather. Warming up provides you the initial trigger to kickstart your exercise routine. You do not have to warm up for a long period but a mere 10-15 minutes of a general warm-up is sufficient to boost your energy levels and get started. You can do any warm-up exercise such as an easy jog, side shuffles, forward and backward shuffles, on the spot jog etc. before you start exercising to reap the benefits of a healthy workout routine.
What are the benefits of doing warm up in winters?
Here are the key five key benefits of doing warm up in winters:
1. Loosens up your muscles
In winters, your muscles tend to contract and tighten up making you further tempted to keep your body curled up. A good warm-up helps you loosen these tight muscles making you more active by increasing the mobility of your joints. Moreover, it can also help ease the pressure on your joints, thereby helping you to relieve joint pain, which is common in winters.
2. Keeps you warm
During a warm-up workout, the rise in body temperature gives you a calm and soothing effect by giving your body its natural heat. This helps you stay active, even in the cold weather. So if you ever feel lazy or feel cold, get into an instant workout such as brisk walking or jogging to beat the chills and stay healthy this season.
3. Helps you stay healthy
It goes without saying that regular exercise strengthens your immune system helping the body to fight off bacterial and viral infections. Winters, as we all know, brings along with it, colds and flu. It becomes utterly important at this time to start your day with a warm-up workout to boost your immunity and keep coughs, colds and flu at bay.
4. Helps you avoid the “winter weight gain”
We all must have seen that by the end of the winter season, our regular clothes shrink or rather I should say: The waistline expands. And, you are not alone to experience that. As the winter sets in, one gets a tendency to indulge in more of high calorie comfort foods especially those “Gajar halwas” and that hot creamy “Butter chicken”. Surely, these minus workouts make you forget everything about those extra kilos that you are gulping and are not burning out. The only way to make up for those sweet and spicy delights is to do a regular warm up and exercise. A proper warm-up will motivate you to get into an exercise regimen which eventually helps you to avoid the “winter weight gain”.
5. Keeps you away from winter blues
Winter blues or Seasonal Affect Disorder(S.A.D) are common symptoms experienced by many people during winters. It is the gloominess created by the cold weather which brings in the feeling of sadness and depression. A daily warm up especially when done outdoors helps the brain in releasing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine which helps in reducing anxiety and depression while boosting up your well being. Simultaneously, doing warm up outdoors helps you to get the sunshine vitamin: Vitamin D. Vitamin D makes bones stronger, keeps your immune system strong and uplifts your mood as well.
Change your whole outlook on winter by starting your day with a warm-up workout. It will help you stay active and enjoy the season rather than struggling for it to pass by. Happy winters!