How to Help Prevent Injury When Training in Winter

Inevitably, this time of year many people experience cabin fever. In areas that have seen miserable winter weather, any day with temperatures above freezing will be tempting enough to bring people out of hibernation! Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to jump back into favorite outdoor activities at summer-fitness levels…and end up injured before the weather is even warm. We give you some tips to help keep you injury-free while heading into spring…

 Warm Up

We don’t mean the temperature outside, although it’s nice if the weather cooperates! When the mercury drops, you’re often more likely to get injured. Many people jump right in without a proper warm up: it’s already cold, muscles work harder, and injury can result. Be sure you give your body plenty of time to acclimate to cooler temperatures with a slow, gentle warm up before outdoor exercise.

Enjoy a Break

Winter is a great time to take a break. Many recreational athletes are driven to pursue their sports all year long; however, if you don’t give your body a break, you can end up being forced to take one. By dialing back your intensity over the winter, adding in cross-training, or even taking the winter off and switching it up with a different indoor fitness routine, you can help guard against injury.

Be Patient

Many people want to jump right into their usual routine the minute they see a sunny day with a decent forecast. They’re ready to hit the road on their bike or head out for multiple miles – the problem with that is if you aren’t ready for that intensity level, you can set yourself up for big problems. It can be frustrating, but after slowing your pace for winter, remember to gradually build your endurance back up. If you notice nagging pain or other issues, re-evaluate your training plan, and consider seeing a physical therapist to prevent further injury.

Don’t Put off Treatment

Many people go right from their busy outdoor season, to indoor workouts, to starting their outdoor fitness all over again, ignoring pain and other indicators of a potential problem. No one likes to be side-lined with injury; instead use the winter “off” season to handle any physical pain and/or mobility problems. By dealing with any potential injuries now, you’ll have a jump on the spring/summer season ahead. Make an appointment with a physical therapist for evaluation, just like you would with your doctor. (The physical therapist’s office will work with your doctor and insurance if a referral and/or further visits are necessary.) Your physical therapist will examine you and discuss your symptoms, then s/he will recommend a custom treatment plan to get you moving in the right direction. It may seem easier to put off treating a nagging injury, but by taking care of it now with the help of a skilled professional, you’ll end up able to enjoy your outdoor season this year!

If you’ve been putting off treatment for a nagging injury, have pain or mobility problems, and are ready to take charge, call Body One Physical Therapy today. Body One is locally-owned and operated, with four locations serving Central Indiana: North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. Our team of highly-specialized and caring physical therapists works with clients of all ages and activity levels and we’d love to help you get on the road to feeling great. Don’t accept limitations to living your best life: call Body One today!