The weather is cold and snowy but that doesn’t scare you, you are still running through the arctic-like conditions regardless. Some might think that you’re crazy but you know the serenity that comes from feeling snowflakes land on your eyelashes and the sound of the snow crunching under your running shoes while you trudge along in sub-zero temps.
By Pamela Mazzuca HBSc. Kin, Athletic Therapist
Braving the frigid temps isn’t just a psychological issue, it’s also a physical one. Without a proper warm up your joints are at an increased risk of injury as are your tendons and ligaments because they are tight and less elastic. Before you lace up you must get your blood pumping to warm up your body, release tension, improve mobility and prevent injury.
Here is a quick and easy head-to-toe warm up to do before you head out into the cold for a run.
Jumping Jacks or Climbing Stairs
Do jumping jacks or climb up and down a flight of stairs at a quick pace for 60 seconds to get your heart pumping.
Swing your arms back and forth as if you are giving yourself a giant bear hug 10 times. Then circle your arms forward in a giant circle for 10, then backwards for 10 and then circle your arms in opposite directions for 10 each way.
Turn your head to one shoulder and hold for a second, then turn to the other shoulder. Repeat 10 times to each side. Then lower your head to your chest and slowly roll your head to one shoulder and then back down to your chest to the opposite shoulder. Repeat 10 times to each shoulder.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hands on your hips and bend your upper body forward until it’s parallel to the ground then rotate your upper body from the waist around in a circle, similar to an exaggerated hula hoop motion. Rotate in each
Standing with your feet hip width apart, hands on your hips lift yourself up onto your toes by lifting your heels off the ground and then lower. Repeat 15 times. For a greater range of motion try doing it with your toes on an elevated surface like a stair, this allows you to lower down past 90 degrees for a greater stretch. Change direction 10 times.
Holding onto a chair or the wall for support, swing your leg front to back, trying to increase your range of motion with each swing, 10 times. Then swing your leg side to side, again trying to increase your range of motion with each swing, 10 times. Repeat on the other leg.