Injuries happen when we are stressed and multitasking.
As a yoga teacher the few minutes before class starts are often spent listening to the details of the weekend’s injuries. When the warm weather hits in the spring there is a rage of first of the season injuries before all the bodies learn how to behave on a bicycle or while raking. But this time of year when the temperature finally dips down from the mild 50s there is another burst.
Cold is very dangerous for the body. There really is no other way to put it. When exercising outside this time of year be prepared for a lower level of functioning. Even when exercising inside be ready for it. Think of the effect cold has on water and remember how much of our body is made up of water. We are more rigid this time of year.
Tips for Staying Safe in Cold Weather
- Keep the body warm while exercising
- Warm the body fully upon returning inside (heating pad, extra clothing, hot tea, etc)
- Don’t just rest, also warm achy joints with a heating pad
- Heat the body first and then loosen the joints
- Take longer warm ups and mindful cool downs so body temperature doesn’t crash
- Avoid exposure of sweaty skin to cold weather after you finish workout (take a hot shower immediately)
- Wear a hat and cover the neck even if they are both light layers
Don’t Ice Every Injury
This time of year if there is a new injury don’t immediately grab a bag of frozen peas. Touch the injured area and check for inflammation. Remember you need redness, heat, pain and puffiness to be certain there is inflammation. Unless you see a textbook hot, swollen, puffy joint ask your body if heat might feel better. Usually the injuries are caused by the cold and heat will help soften hardness, warm the area and increase circulation. Ointments such as Arnica and Tiger Balm are excellent for rapidly healing bruises and speeding up muscle release because they use a combination of gently cooling and strongly warming herbs.
If you needed another reason to try to stay cool, calm and collected this holiday season, here you go. If the body is holding tension, it is more likely to become injured by a small bump, nudge or unplanned twist. Try to stay soft in the body and leave time to get everywhere you are going.
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