Cold Weather, Warm Muscles: Prevent winter injuries from outdoor activities.

(This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado)

Colorado residents have little excuse to not enjoy the outdoors year-round, based on the number of sunny days we experience each year! We are fortunate enough to have world class skiing in our backyard, miles of trails for snowshoeing, amazing wildlife viewing, and mild enough temperatures to run or bike on most days. But, that doesn’t mean the cold weather doesn’t take a toll on our muscles. Keep your muscles healthy and enjoy the outdoors this winter with some simple tips.
  1. Warm up longer & stretch. Cold weather can cause your muscles to become tighter because they lose more heat. Tighter joints and muscles mean less range of motion too. To avoid feeling uncomfortably tight, take time before to warm those muscles up. How much warm up do you need? A basic ruleis 10 minutes when the temperature is between 35 and 45 degrees. Add 5 minutes to that warm up for every 10 degree drop below that. From there, stretch your warm muscles to keep them flexible before more strenuous activity. Be sure to focus on key areas like calves, quads and back muscles.
  2. Stay warm and hydrated. The weather is already working against you by taking heat out of your muscles. So, be sure you are properly dressed to keep your muscles warm. Layer it up! Start with a warm, tight fitting base layer and add more layers as needed. Once you have warm muscles that allow you to keep you moving, don’t forget to keep them hydrated. Your muscles work harder in the winter butthe cold temperatures don’t always make you feel thirsty. Don’t be fooled! Your muscles still need water to prevent fatigue and soreness. So, drink up! 
Don’t let the cold keep you from being active in the outdoors this winter. Looking for some fun winter events for the whole family? Don’t forget to check out www.GetOutdoorsColorado.comto find your next adventure!