Naturally Warm Up Your Winter
Winter is here! Sure, you can crank the heat but why waste resources when you can create your own internal heat this winter? Keep reading to find out how to light your fire (figuratively speaking) and how winter provides the perfect opportunity to take better care of your health.
If you live in part of the world where it experiences winter, especially frigid temperatures of -35ºC and colder, than you’ll really appreciate the following information. If you take the advice, not only will you get healthier during the winter months (compared to gaining the typical winter weight), you’ll save money on your heating costs!
How to Naturally Warm Up Your Winter
Here are our top tips in how to create an internal fire so you can actually enjoy your winter this year:
- Increase your warm-up time by at least 5 minutes. Think of an elastic band, when it dries out or gets cold, it loses it’s pliability and if you stretch it too far, it snaps. Muscles act very similarly. In colder temperatures, our muscles become tighter and more rigid, we tend to drink less water (dehydrating our muscles), plus we’re less active which lowers the blood flow to the muscles. All of these factors make it vital to properly warm-up in lower temperatures before being active to avoid injuries. Increase your warm-up time by at least 5 minutes and be more thorough by incorporating movements that warm up your stabilizer muscles as well as your major muscle groups.
- Create a proper, thorough stretching routine. Yes, here we go again with the stretching! But it’s SO important and that’s why we harp on it. Check out: Warm Up Your Winter with Stretching for why stretching is necessary in colder temperatures and Stretching Regime to Feel Younger for a sample of a good routine. And to get even MORE stretching into your day, read The Awkward Stretch.
- Move more! Get those workouts in (and maybe increase it by one per week since we’re so inactive during the winter), including cardio to get that blood pumping and flowing to all your extremities. This is where you really get your internal fire burning, literally. Increasing your metabolism increases your body’s ability to burn calories, including those stored as fat. Read these tips to boost your metabolism & weight-loss efforts.
- Drink more healthy hot drinks. There’s nothing like coming in from the cold and sitting down to enjoy a hot drink to warm you from the inside-out. Just be wary of the types of hot drinks! Hot cocoa and lattes are delish but they are loaded with sugar and dairy which contribute to extra calories you may not be able to work off in the lower temperatures. Instead choose hot water with lemon in the morning right after waking, green and herbal teas throughout the day, and for a treat: homemade matcha lattes or cocoa naturally sweetened and made with almond or coconut milk.
- Eat spicy foods. Certain spices are known to create a thermogenic reaction in the body (i.e. it requires more energy from your body to process, igniting your metabolism). Flavour your drinks and foods with spices like: cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, cayenne and chili powder, fresh ginger, cumin and turmeric. All of these spices have their own individual health benefits but as a group they warm you up, increase your metabolism and clean your system of impurities.
With all this advice for stoking your internal heater, could you learn to love winter a little more? If you’re still not convinced, read this article for more ways to warm up to old man winter.
If you need additional guidance with developing a proper warm-up, stretching regime and exercise routine to make sure winter is enjoyable, please contact us to hook up with one of our certified personal trainers.