5 Reasons To Warm Up Before You Exercise This Winter

5 Reasons To Warm Up Before You Exercise This Winter - Geared For Those Who Enjoy Group Exercise Classes and Solo Workouts

By: Fusion Cardio Toronto

During the winter, many of us will be rushing indoors to avoid the bone-chilling effects of the cold. The winter’s baggage which also includes a lack of sunlight, along with shorter days and longer nights, will make hibernation seem like the best choice of activity. Put simply, the winter climate can make exercising seem like a drag. The good news is that there’s a way to make working out during this time of year easier. The secret is the warm-up.

 Here’s Why

1.    It prepares you both mentally and physically – the music, type of class, instructor, and movements, all help to excite the body’s systems (mind, body, and spirit)

2.    It creates energy for the workout – warm-ups help to circulate the blood and deliver oxygen to cells to create energy (ATP) for the upcoming physical activity

3. It Reduces injuries – the increase in body temperature caused by the body’s systems helps to make the joints and muscles pliable and flexible to performing a broader range of motion

4.    It encourages success – Warm-ups combine the movements that you will see throughout the session which helps to make the workout easy to follow and enjoyable

5.    It creates social opportunities – Joining a group exercise class/physical activity in time for the warm-up gives you the opportunity to choose who you want to workout beside and possibly get to know. If you don’t like working out alone, finding someone like you can help motivate you to return throughout the winter and onward.

If you’re into working out alone, here are some warm-up tips to help you during the season

Tips on How To Warm Up Alone Indoors

  • Use dynamic stretches (stretches with motion) (leg kickbacks, arm crosses/circles, marches, brisk walking, spot jogs)
  • Avoid static stretching as these are used to encourage relaxation
  • Drink lots of water before the workout
  • Show up dressed to workout and dress warm, you can always remove layers later

 Tips on How To Warm Up Alone Outdoors

  • Dress warm - find out what materials are best for the type of workout and are ideal for the cold temperatures that you will be in
  • Drink lots of water before the warm-up
  • Spend more time warming up the body (before a run, walk briskly, or before a skate, do a few laps)
  • Make warm-ups longer to help the body cope with the cold weather
  • Take in long deep breaths that will be used to create energy for the upcoming workout
  • Plan workouts that are during the day when it’s warmer and on days when it’s sunny. You can view 14-day weather trends on most weather websites.

NOTE: If you’re working out in the winter or early morning, the warm-up period should be longer as the body may be stiff due to a lack of movement. New beginners, older adults, and pregnant women need longer warm-up periods. These groups should always consult with a doctor to find out what is safe for them.

To read more about winter warm-ups and workouts, please do feel free to check out the sources listed below.

References

  1. Erickson, Marla, 2014, Components of a Fitness Class, Fitness Instructor Specialist, Canadian Fitness Professionals, p. 109 p. 116.
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-does-cold-weather-affect-your-health
  3. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140107-what-extreme-cold-does-to-human
  4. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/do-your-muscles-hurt-more-when-its-cold-out#1
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php
  6. https://www.mensfitness.com/training/seven-tips-winter-running
  7. http://www.nsmi.org.uk/articles/injury-prevention/warming-up.html
  8. https://healthyliving.azcentral.com/five-safety-guidelines-exercising-1339.html
  9. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/conditions/symptoms-of-vitamin-d-deficiency/?page=4
  10. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/stretch-workout
  11. https://www.jillianmichaels.com/blog/health-and-fitness/6-bad-fitness-habits-you-should-break
  12. https://www.mensfitness.com/life/entertainment/heres-why-you-want-sleep-more-winter

Easy Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal  (gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free)

I come from a line of Brits. Not heritage wise but I’m a Brit. And Brits love their porridge (what we Canadians call Oatmeal). The great thing about Oatmeal is that it’s packed with iron, fiber, protein and is low in fat and sugar. Huffington Post has noted its impact on reducing high cholesterol, blood pressure, and sugar levels. To shake up your oatmeal this fall, try my overnight recipe.

Easy Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oatmeal (gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free)

  •  1/2 cup Oats (can by gluten-free steel cut or rolled oats)
  •  3/4 cup liquid (cashew milk, rice milk, water etc)
  •  1 teaspoon Chia or Flax seeds
  •  1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger & cloves)
  •  3 tbsp pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup/honey or ½ ripe banana mashed into pulp

Method: place all ingredients together in a jar and seal with a lid. Shake the jar well and place in the fridge overnight. Eat in the morning for breakfast or as a snack.  

 My Tip: I add in crushed vitamin C and D3 capsules to help build my immunity in the winter. Also, I like to sub the pumpkin for dairy-free cocoa powder to make it brownie-like. When it comes to the seeds, while both seeds above are said to be healthy, they should be used carefully as they are high in fat.

Test 2 Prevent - Type 2 Diabetes

According to the International Diabetes Federation, "Intensive lifestyle modification, involving the adoption of healthy diets and increased physical activity, remains the cornerstone for the prevention of type 2 diabetes."

To find out your risk of developing type 2 Diabetes,  take their Test 2 Prevent test here: https://www.idf.org/type-2-diabetes-risk-assessment/

Best Shoes For Dance Workouts and Classes - Under $80

Throughout the last years, I’ve seen my share of shoes. And I’ve worn my share of shoes. Shoes that look great on but aren’t functional for dance workouts/dance classes. I’ve seen some come in with heels, others in winter boots, and some in sandals. I’ve even seen some participants throw off their shoes in the middle of a class because they just aren’t able to move in them as they’d like to. Wearing the wrong shoes in a dance class is like driving a car in the snow with summer tires. You’re getting by until one day, you just can’t.

To help you find the best shoe for your dance workouts/classes, without breaking the bank, I’ve put together a quick list of inexpensive shoes available in Toronto and online. Most of the shoe brands and styles on the list I’ve purchased and really liked wearing.

1) Dance Sneakers (suitable for high impact dance workouts/classes)

Reebok Women's Hayasu (Starting at C$40 Reebok online)

Reebox Women's Pilox Dance Sneaker (C$60 Sears Canada)

RYKA’s Women's 'Grafik' Training/Studio Dance Shoe (C$70 at Sears Canada)

Pastry’s Hip Hop Dance Sneakers (C$70 at Dance Wear Center)

2) Jazz Sneakers (suitable for dance classes)

American Ballet Theatre Women’s Twin Gore (C$30 at Payless Canada)

Capezio DS29 High Top Split Sole Dance Sneakers ($40 at Dance Wear Center)

Canvas Phanton Bloch Jazz Show (C$56 at Malabar Toronto)

3) No to Low-Cost Options

An old walking shoe (with a flat bottom that has minimal grip and allows you to twist and turn easily). Running shoes are not ideal as they are made for forward motion.

Barefoot (jumping and rumbling may have an impact on your knee joints and ankles. If you tend to get sweaty feet, this option may not work well.

Investing in a good pair of shoes will pay off if you’re getting the results you want. And you don’t have to spend over $90 to reach it.

The one thing I wish for all of you is fewer injuries and better performance.

For further reading, check out these articles:

Shape: http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/best-sneakers-crush-your-workout-routines

Elle Magazine: http://www.elle.com/fashion/news/g26198/podiatrist-approved-workout-shoes/?slide=5

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