Things You Have To Consider When Training In Snow
With the winter approaching and the first snow hitting the football pitches in Latvia, we thought it`s the right time to dig a little deeper into what it takes to train in the snow. We will be looking at certain things that you have to keep in mind when training outside in such conditions to help you stay safe and prevent unnecessary injuries.
Why Would I Want To Train Outside In The Cold Weather?
First of all, it is important to note that training outdoors is beneficial to you and your body in its own sake because of the changes in temperature and air quality which boosts your immune system. Cold exposure on the other hand increases your pulse rate, look into thermoregulation if you want to find out more about this topic, which makes any physical activity more effective due to increased energy consumption that is required to keep your body warm.
Preparation Is The Key!
Due to the many qualities of snow – cold, wet, slippery – a more conscious effort has to be given to preparation phase of the physical activity session. From choosing the right boots, to selecting the appropriate clothes as well as knowing how you will get to the training session and back, here are some of the things you should definitely think about.
Rule number 1 of winter training – dress for the occasion. You don`t want to be too cold and you don`t want to be too hot because it will cause your body to work extra hard to keep your body temperature in place. Ideally, adhere to the onion principle – wear multiple layers of clothes that can be easily removed as the body starts to warm up.
Pro tip to prevent illness: wear a hat because more than 40% of the body heat can be lost if the head is unprotected.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Even before you think about going out to train in the cold and snow, you should think about how to better support your immune system and one way to do it is by having a healthy and balanced diet that is full of vitamins and minerals. The best way to ensure the body receives enough vitamins and minerals is to gather fruits and vegetables and eat as many varieties as possible.
Pro tip to eat properly: For each of the meals, fruits or vegetables should make up half of the plate.
Sleep Is Your Superpower
Sleep is athletes best friend and it should automatically become your best friend forever when winter approaches. Given that your body loses more energy during the cold periods, you need to restore this energy one way or another and sleep gives you the perfect solution for this. Focus on the quality over quantity and ensure that you you go to bed early, your room is dark and your bed sheets are clean.
Pro tip to sleep well: Don`t overeat before going to bed as it will prevent you from falling asleep
Tips When Exercising
As the circumstances change, so should some of your actions change around what you do when exercising. From making sure you are constantly moving around, to not staying in the wet clothes for too long after the training session, here are some of the ideas you should bear in mind.
Warm Up Becomes Even More Important
The younger a person, the quicker the body turns cold and because of this you should warm up your body even before you head outside, for example, in the changing room. Another important thing to consider is that due to the low temperatures, the injury risk is way higher and you don`t want to go from 0 to 100 without warming up your body properly.
Pro tip to get your body ready: start with some stretching indoors and then head out for medium speed running to warm up your muscles
Keep On Moving!
Changes in temperature provides a risk to you in winter months. Not only your body loses temperature a lot quicker, but your muscles cool down a lot quicker too which means that they can become stiff without you even noticing it and it can lead to increased risk of injury. As a general rule, you should keep the training intensity consistent throughout the session.
Pro tip to avoid injuries in cold weather: move your after training cool down and stretching indoors where it is warm
Get Out Of Wet Clothes As Soon As Possible
After you have completed your training session and finished your warm down, try to get out of the wet clothes as soon as you can and head for the shower to warm yourself. The reason this is important is due to the fact that decrease in your body temperature makes your immune system more sensitive which increases the potential for illness to appear.
Pro tip to prevent illness: be careful that your body does not overheat on the drive home as it will make your immune system more sensitive
Training outdoors, especially in the cold and snow, can be very beneficial for you and even fun but only if you are smart about the whole process. Remember that preparation is the key and you should take care of your body outside of training activities so that it is ready to perform. Similarly, wear the right clothing, warm up and keep on moving to maintain your body temperature. Once the training is over, warm down, get into warm shower and be careful not to overheat your body on the drive home.
With that being said, we hope you have learned something new today. Winter is a wonderful time of the year to keep practicing, improve your football knowledge and become a better athlete one minute at time!