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When we think of losing weight, staying mobile and in our best shape, running tops the charts as an exercise. If you’re someone who wakes up early while beating the morning chill and breaking up with your cosy bed, nothing can stop you! However, it is not just the bitter cold you have to battle against. Many people get struck with orthopedic challenges that winter brings with it. If you like a winter run, it’s best to exercise with caution to avoid a long-term injury.
Speaking of injuries, winter has the ability to – literally – make us weak in the knees. So, like we said, if you’re somebody who enjoys running during the bitter cold months, it is necessary to take extra care of your knees.
Yash Vardhan Swami, health and fitness coach, spoke to HealthShots about the need of proper warm-up before going in for a full run.
“In the winter season, we have to warm up for a longer time since it’s colder. In lower temperatures, our body becomes more numb which makes it more prone to injuries,” he says.
Low temperature and high humidity in the air may induce knee pain. These two changes in our surroundings impact the cellular structure of our joints which causes them to contract and expand thus, making us go through an unpleasant tingling and pain in the knees.
Drop in the temperature may cause the fluid in our knees to thicken causing this sensation of stiffness in the joints. From absorbing shock while running to reducing friction in regular movements, synovial fluid in our joints serves a principal role in our body’s daily functioning.
If you’ve dealt with a knee injury in the past, winter may worsen the issue further. People with a history of knee injuries experience inflammation, scarring and sensitivity on the nerves during winter. Running during winter may further alleviate the sensitivity in the nerves.
Barometric pressure plays a big role in agitating our knee pains. When the temperature drops, the barometric pressure of the air rises up. This phenomena causes the fluid and gases in our knees to expand and cause aching knees.
If you want to stay fit by running each day, you need to ensure that your knees are prepared for the winter. This will avoid frequent knee pains and help you stay away from the risk of knee injuries.
Aren’t you bored of hearing this each day and yet not keeping your body hydrated enough? Hydration can decrease the chances of wear and tear during a run and also, improves your body’s flexibility.
Being said hundreds of times, not warming up your body before a workout can increase the risk of injuries. Warm up your body with jumping jacks, knee highs before going in for a long run. Don’t forget to practice stretching exercises to open up your stiff muscles.
Cover up your knees with knee wraps and neoprene sleeves for extra warmth under your clothing. This will keep your knees warm and reduce friction as you run.
Workouts that strengthen your quadriceps can avoid chances of knee injuries to a great extent. Doing leg press, leg curl, lunges and squats can provide that much-needed strength for running each day.
Since, now you know these running rules, do not let the cold weather cool down your fitness regime. Enjoy the nip in the air and go get your fitness goals, girl!