by Steve Limbrunner

Many of us are in the middle of a long cold winter. During this season no one likes to be cold and that’s why utilizing a good pre-activity warmup can keep us PREPARED! The last thing we want is a pulled muscle from shoveling a driveway or skiing down the slopes. Let us show you how to warm up with a good warmup!

Utilize Proper Attire

In order to be and stay warm for the entirety of your winter activities it’s important to utilize the proper attire when outside. Find a happy medium between the marshmallow-look, which could limit range of motion, and beach attire, which could cause frostbite, hypothermia, and not allow you to stay warm. Keeping your extremities warm with gloves and good boots are great ways to stay warm.

The Warmup

Before any activity it’s important to warmup to decrease the risk of injuries. During the winter it not only helps prevent injuries, but also keeps your body warm. A warmup is all about preparing your muscles for the rest of the day and ensuring the first time you lift something, squat, or move dynamically isn’t during the activity, but during the warmup.

For example, if you are about to shovel the driveway, make sure to perform some squats beforehand to warm up the leg muscles. If you’re about to chuck a snowball at your annoying friend, perform a couple of arm circles beforehand.

Remaining Warm Throughout the Activity

Performing the initial warmup is key during winter activities, but remaining warm throughout the entirety of the activity is also important. For example, if you’re skiing or snowboarding and need to take a break for lunch, it’s important to perform another warmup before you go back out on the mountain.

If you are a skier or snowboarder here are some suggestions for a warmup:
Jumping Jacks (Increases heart rate and a good challenge for everyone in their ski boots)
Squats (Warms up the legs and prepares you for the ski lifts or big jumps)
Arm Circles
Hamstring, Quad and Low Back Stretches (These three muscle groups will see the most work. It’s important to keep them loose)
– A personal suggestion from a past mistake is to always start the day on a bunny hill before you attempt the triple black diamonds
– Lastly, wiggle those toes and fingers to keep your extremities warm out there!

Love the winter or hate the winter, if you live anywhere that’s not sunny and 80 degrees year round, you don’t get the choice to stay warm! Taking advantage of these tips can keep you PREPARED during this winter season.

About Steve Limbrunner, ATC

Steve is a certified Athletic Trainer out of Normal, IL. He has worked in youth sports, high school, college, clinic settings and now the industrial setting. He is passionate about motivating people to take care of themselves through preventative exercise. When he’s not at work he enjoys working out, cooking, and golfing!

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!