Category Archives for "cold"

Exercising in the Cold

With the temperature getting closer to 0°C, many factors including the environment, clothing, body composition, nutrition, age, and exercise intensity in the cold may elicit additional physiologic strain or injury risk beyond that associated with regular conditions. An individual’s core temperature may drop and contribute to hypothermia, frostbite, or diminished exercise capability. Care must be taken into wearing proper clothing and footwear to minimize cold stress to the body or slippage.

Clothing Considerations:

1) Three layers:
a.     inner layer such as lightweight polyester or polypropylene
b.     middle layer such as polyester fleece or wool
c.      outer layer to transfer moisture to the air and repel wind or rain
2) Protect your head, hands, feet, and ears
3) Adjust insulation to minimize sweating
4) Use clothing vents to reduce sweat accumulation
5) Do not wear an outer layer unless rainy or windy
6) Reduce clothing insulation as exercise intensity increases 

Exercise tips:

1)  Check the forecast before heading outside as a combination of wind and cold can penetrate your clothing layers, increasing risk of frostbite
2) Drink plenty of fluids
3) Wear sunscreen or bring heat packs to warm up your hands and feet
4) Know the signs and symptoms of frostbite:
a.     typically occurs when temperatures fall below 0°C (32°F)
b.     more prevalent with exposed skin (e.g. face, hands)
c.      some early signs include: feeling of numbness or stinging
5) Know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia:

a.     abnormally low body temperature (heat production is less than heat loss)
b.     some early signs: shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination, fatigue
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

5 Tips for Running in Sub-Zero Temperatures

The key to running in the extreme cold is to protect yourself, wear the proper clothing, and have an exit strategy.

1. Dress in Layers

You’ve heard this one before. Probably from your mother, who advised you take along your jacket — just in case. Well, you should listen to her. A good approach to running in sub-zero temperatures is to wear a breathable synthetic layer, followed by a second insulating layer, topped off by a wind-proof shell. (synthetic layer, half-zip shirt, shell) On the bottom, consider the same approach in two layers (synthetic layer, tights or pants).

2. Grease Up

You’ll be harder to catch than a greased pig in a snowstorm. Smother Vaseline on any exposed skin to offer insulation from the cold and protection from the wind. That means your nose, cheeks, chin, neck, and ear lobes. You’ll be amazed what a layer of this stuff can do.

Tip from the pros: If you’re racing in shorts on a cool day, you can coat your hamstrings and other important muscle groups in Vaseline to keep them warm.

3. Protect Your Bits and Pieces

Okay, guys. This one’s for you. Buy yourself some underwear that is synthetic and offers windproof protection where it’s needed most. You only need to run in the freezing cold once to realize the value of this garment.

4. Head, Hands and Feet

Wear a good hat that covers your ears and keeps you warm without causing sweat to trickle down your neck and freeze. There are several breathable winter hats made for this purpose. Keeping your hands and feet warm will prevent frostbite and make your run more comfortable.

We have found good success wearing wool mittens over synthetic running gloves. The mittens always seem to keep your hands warmer than gloves, and the synthetic gloves keep your hands from getting sweaty inside the mittens. On your feet, you could wear some warm Merino wool running socks.

5. Tell a Friend

It’s always important to tell a friend or family member that you’re going out for a run. However, running in sub-zero temperatures makes it a necessity. You don’t want to get stuck out there. It’s a good idea to bring a phone along as well. Let’s face it, even if you don’t normally run with your phone, you’ll be glad to have it. Be smart and stay safe and you’ll look forward to winter running.

InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.

Are Exercise Injuries More Common in the Cold?

Q: Am I at greater risk of muscle or joint injury when I exercise in the cold?
A: In general cold-weather workouts are almost always safe, as long as you bundle up (layers are key) and pay extra attention to slick, slippery surfaces. But what’s happening inside?

Cold weather certainly can increase your risk of straining or tearing something. That’s because the lower temps cause our muscles to tighten a little bit more.
Think about a block of clay that’s been sitting there, that cold block of clay would tear if you stretched it, compared to how pliable it would be if you spent some time warming it up in your hands first. Our muscles and connective tissue also have less elasticity when the temperature gets lower.
That’s why warming up is more important now than at any other time of year. In average temps when you’re not using your muscles, most of your blood flows to your internal organs. When you start to call on your legs and arms to get moving, blood vessels open up to fuel those working muscles, but when the mercury drops, you’re amplifying that effect. If you jump right into a sudden, powerful movement such as sprinting on a stiffer-than-normal muscle, that force could lead to injury.
The cold may also slow down some of our sensory mechanisms. When your nerves are colder, there’s slower transmission rate, making, say, your feet a little numb, which could throw off your balance. It’s possible then to be doing damage without being totally aware of it: In warmer weather, you might read a twinge of pain as a signal to ease up; in cold weather, you might push yourself through the twinge toward injury.
The good news is cold-weather exercise injuries are preventable. If you’re dressed appropriately for the weather and you do a gradual, proper warmup, you can avoid a lot of that. Look at the warmup as literally warming up the muscles, tendons, and other parts of your body to get ready for the greater forces that you’ll be applying to them in sprinting, jumping, or landing.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.