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Winter Sports and the Importance of Stretching

Winters are an inevitable part of living in Michigan and if you can get past the cold, winter can actually be a beautiful and peaceful time to go outside and work out. In fact, exercising in the cold burns more calories than exercising in warmer temperatures, making it easier to lose weight. Specifically, people who hiked in temperatures ranging from 15 to 23 degrees burned 34 percent more calories than people who hiked in temperatures in the mid-50s, according to a recent study. On the other hand, cold temperatures cause your muscles to lose heat and ultimately shrink (or contract). As muscles and joints lose heat, they get tighter and are forced to work harder than they would in warm temperatures to complete the same tasks. This is why it’s so important to ensure you are stretching properly and drinking enough water to prevent common winter sports injuries. Here are some stretches that can help with muscle soreness, according to Ski Bradford.

  • Warm-up: Start your workout by doing a light jog or walk for about ten minutes to warm the body up. Jump rope, jumping jacks, and marching in place can help add variety and slight intensity to your warm-up.

  • The Plank is a great exercise that engages most of the muscles that will be used when on the slopes. This can be done right after completing the warm-up above, and before stretching.

  • Transverse Oblique Twists: increase flexibility and agility in the hips, back and transverse obliques, all of which are heavily engaged during winter sports.

  • The Straight Leg Hang: stretches the lower back and hamstring.

  • Downward Facing Dog: this is a yoga pose that stretches the lower back, calves, hamstring, upper back, and back of shoulders.

  • Cobra: is also a yoga pose, and is sometimes seen as the opposite of Downward Facing Dog. This exercise stretches the abdominal muscles and the front of the shoulders.

  • A Chest Stretch: is as the name suggests an exercise that stretches the chest. There are several kinds of exercises that can stretch this part of the body. Most of them are easy to do.

Winter in Michigan is beautiful so go ahead and get outside but just remember to stretch and take care of yourself before heading outdoors. The Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC in St. Clair Shores and Shelby Township, MI is committed to providing the best care possible for our patients following a car accident. Our team provides immediate and expert treatment to trauma patients. If you've suffered a serious injury and need medical attention, call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make your appointment.


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