Winter presents many challenges to our system and especially here in our sub tropical Sydney climate, we experience a relatively shorter and less intense winter weather pattern. But in a way, its a false security as we can still get caught out with snaps of reasonably cold weather which can have grave effects on our health.
I find many people become more complacent about exercise and routine in winter, with dark nights when you leave work, rainy weekends preventing you from getting outside, there are too many reasons to say 'oh I just won't even bother today'. We all do it. It becomes even more important during this time to ensure you allow yourself the time to invest in some regular exercise. OK, so it's raining and developing into a cyclone. Perhaps not best for footy or bike riding. But find ways to overcome this - try something different. Yoga is a perfect way to start a winter routine and a great alternative when you are taking time out from the ground sports or high impact sports of running or triathlon. You may just find yourself enjoying it and giving your body that much needed break from impact that it needs.
It is also vitally important during this time to ensure adequate warm-up and warm-down during exercise. Staying warm on the inside is vital to exercise during this time. It's so easy to cool down. So if your coach starts waffling on and taking 15minutes to tell you something, make sure you stay warm before hitting the court straight away. Be careful during training sessions not to push too hard if you aren't warm enough. Getting to training before time is vital, those few moments spent warming up the body and the joints that need to be used can save you a whole heap of worry later.
And of course, getting those regular sports treatments to ensure you have niggles looked at before the become a problem is vital. As the colder weather sets in, old injuries flare up and start to let you know when rain is on the way. Scar tissue has a habit of making itself known around this time, so if you do feel that it 'just won't budge' don't delay making that appointment to ensure you aren't going to shatter your hopes of getting into the Sydney Running Festival in September.
Movement and training is really important during this time to keep the body active and open. Its tempting to be in front of the couch and keep the blankets on with the heater firing off. But it’s also very important to keep the body moving and stretching as you get toasty and comfy. Regular sessions at the pool may have to give way to other more appropriate exercise regimes but a regular replacement regime really is vital. You can try lots of new activites during our relatively short winter, maybe even the time to get into the yoga studio or do some ‘ski training’ as motivation for being trim enough for that winter trip away. But keeping active is vital.
So get creative with your winter actions and bear in mind that its still a lot easier in Sydney to keep moving and doing things, rather than suffering under sub zero temperatures and snow drifts as some locations have to do when they experience winter!