As the seasons change, so should the way you recover. With cold temps, shifts in sunlight and changes in our already hectic schedules, you need to take a look at how this impacts the way we’re recharging. With help from our in house recovery experts, Peloton instructors Hannah Marie Corbin, Selena Samuela and Cody Rigsby, we’ve created your official winter recovery checklist below. It’s time to get comfy.
Don’t keep your cool this season. Instead, make sure you’re always staying warm. This may seem obvious, but after a powerful workout, you’ll be playing catch-up to the way your body naturally cools down. “When you’re done with your workout, whether it’s off the slopes or even kicking it at home after a winter run, make sure you get out of those sweaty and wet clothes as soon as possible,” says Selena. “Staying warm and dry after sweating in the cold is imperative so that your body and immune system don’t end up working overtime.”
Check Your Hydration
Yes, this one is on the list all season long, but reevaluate how much H20 you’re taking in during the winter months. “When sweating like crazy in summer months, a cold drink of water is at the top of your mind, but sweat evaporates faster in dry winter air, so we often don’t realize how dehydrated we really are.” A way to maintain this is to make sure you’re drinking half an ounce or a whole ounce per how many pounds you weigh. “Having a numerical goal will help you stay on track even if you don’t feel dehydrated at the time,” says Hannah, “and if you’re still thirsty after that, always listen to your body and keep hydrating away!”
But Did You Stretch?
Like hydration, stretching is an all-year-long thing. But, considering the cold, give yourself extra time to warm-up those muscles before any workout this season. “Going from cold and stiff to max effort is a quick path to injury,” explains Hannah. “Allow time for longer warm-ups before a workout as well as time after to stretch and mobilize while you’re still warm!” For an added layer after your workout, Hannah suggests throwing on some compression socks. “These help my body to reduce swelling in the feet and calves and help to keep me warm as my body is cooling down.”
Mix These In
As we experience less and less daylight as winter progresses, Cody explains that once winter hits, he makes a point to make sure to add more vitamin D into his diet. “Whether it’s with a supplement or by eating foods with higher vitamin D like fish, I need to mix this into my day,” he says. “I’ve found that it helps my mood which then helps with staying consistent with my workouts.” Your vitamin needs may differ, though, so always discuss with your doctor what before you take a new supplement.
Turmeric is also a great recovery tool that Hannah loves to mix in to her routine this season. “Try adding this to a soothing cup of tea and take advantage of its anti-inflammatory properties,” she notes. “Turmeric can help with joint inflammation and can also help support your immune system that’s doing the really hard work during these months.”
Soak it Up
Hannah says that taking an epsom salt bath is one of her favorite ways to help her body recover from her workouts. “One of these once or twice a week is a must,” she says, “Keep your salts next to the tub and tack on a 10-15 minute soak at the end of a quick shower.” Hannah notes that doing this regularly helps to loosen up stiff muscles and joints, and keep your body warm and supple.
Actually Take Your Recovery
Maybe the most important part of this list–the reminder to actually take your recovery. With hectic schedules and endless amounts of things to accomplish around the holidays, it’s easy to let it fall by the wayside. “One of the biggest things people forget to do when it comes to their recovery is to actually take one,” says Hannah. “A common questions I get during winter training is, ‘I’m feeling a little under the weather, what ride should I take?’ My answer? Take a nap.” So whether it’s a nap you need or that stretching session you’ve been meaning to get to, do it. “There is no benefit to kicking your body while it’s down or in need of some R&R”, she says. “Listen to your body and what it needs this season!”
If you need any more convincing, read more about why our instructors say you need time to recover!