Warm up exercises are needed regardless of the type of workout you choose. The warm up exercises will prevent sprains and strains. In winter, you need to increase the amount of time you spend on warm up exercises. This is due to the reduced temperatures and the fact that the muscles are tighter in the winter, so injuries are more common. There are a few warm up exercises you can choose from.
1. Static Stretches
When you are planning to walk or jog outside in the winter, it’s imperative that you perform your leg, arm and back stretches. Take some extra time to stretch your entire body (i.e. 10 minutes). Don’t forget to stretch the hamstrings, the quadriceps and the Achilles’ tendon.
2. Arm Circles
Arm circles can be performed as warm up exercises if you are planning to ski or bike. Circle your arms from one side to the other, making sure to increase the tempo. You may also take some deep breaths raising your hands up in the air. When you exhale, bend over and quickly move your hands towards the ground.
3. Twist Your Upper Body
To stretch your upper body, place your hands on your hips and move your upper body from left to right, then from right to left. Try rotating your upper body clockwise and then counterclockwise.
4. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks can increase your heart rate, but make sure you perform a few stretching moves prior to these. The jumping jacks will ensure that the heart will start pumping more blood to the muscles, so that you won’t be prone to injuries.
Prior to a longer run, you can take 5 minutes to walk and put your blood into motion. You can also perform the hands and upper body stretches while you walk.
Squats will work on your lower body and will warm up the muscles from this area. Make sure you perform the squats correctly. Hold your hands in front of you or put them at the back of your head; your back should be straight. Use your abdominal muscles to squat down and come back up. Try not to move your hands and upper body while you perform the squats.
7. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope is not a usual way to warm up, but it may be used if you prefer a more intensive type of warm up. This warm up exercise will increase your heart rate.
Unlike the other types of warm up exercises, jumping rope is only required for 3 to 5 minutes to prepare you for your winter workout. Ideally, you should perform this activity after stretching for a couple of minutes.
8. Imitate the Exercise Moves
You may also warm up by imitating the moves you are about to perform during your workout. In this manner, you will warm up the muscle groups that you will be using.
For instance, if you want to ski, try to imitate the arm and hip movements you perform while on the slope.