Cold weather can cause muscles, ligaments and tendons to tighten up and feel stiffer and more easily suffer damage. Here’s why…cold tendons and ligaments are less elastic, making them more prone to tiny tears and inflammation.
All of those tissues have nerve endings in them so they're going to feel the recent cold changes in our El Paso weather. So, if you're going to be working out in the cold weather, you’ll want to make sure you warm up and wear proper clothing. If you don’t, you will get too cold and tighten or stiffen up…so much so that you may feel real pain.
This quick and easy head-to-toe routine will improve circulation throughout your body, release tension in your upper body and promote flexibility in your lower body. For athletes who workout all year ‘round, this is a great warmup routine to do before every run:
Arm swings: Swing arms back and forth in front of your body. Set of 10 on each arm.
Ankle circles: Circle 10 times each foot.
Head rotations: Lower your chin to your chest to start this neck stretch. Circle your head slowly 10 times.
Torso twists: With feet shoulder width apart, circle your trunk at your core at least 10 times. Try 25 for a better warm up.
Knee circles: Like the picture, with your hands on your knees, slowly circle them for gain more flexibility in the cold weather. Circle 10-20 times.
Leg swings: Holding onto a wall or car or another stable structure, swings your legs opposite direction slowly back and forth in front of you. Do this10 times for each leg.
This simple cold weather workout should greatly help you reduce injury and pain due to tight muscles and tendons. If you still feel pain after this pre-run workout, you may have bigger issues including an injury that is not healing. Consult with the orthopaedic surgeons at Ortho El Paso for pain and injury of the knees, hips, shoulders, elbows and hands. They specialize in sports treatment and minimally invasive surgery so you can get back on the track in no time.