Cold Muscles? Use Compression to help with Winter Endurance!
Hidez Animal Compression Travel & Recovery Suit
Unfortunately that time of year, where the days get shorter and colder, is upon us once again. We all need a little extra motivation to go out each day and remain active when the weather is encouraging us to stay indoors.
Our muscles and our horse’s muscles also find it tougher during the colder months, making us more prone to injury. Our bodies have a range within which they are very comfortable and aim to maintain. In science we call this homeostasis (same state). Too warm and the body will do everything it can to cool you down, while if you are too cold your body will equally initiate responses to warm you up. There is a close relationship between muscle temperature and performance in sport and exercise. As the temperature of muscle falls so does performance. One of the reasons for this is that as temperature falls the body constricts blood vessels (vasoconstriction), reducing blood flow to the muscles and sending blood to warmer more essential parts of the body.
“For those of you who are exercising in cold environments; be sure to do everything that you can to support the body’s need to maintain core temperature within quite narrow limits. Whether you are a professional sports person or a weekend warrior, whatever your activity, there are a number of things you might consider such that your training session, walk in the park or ski down a mountainside is supported by modern sciences’ most recent innovations.
Compression is one such innovation available to all and it has very sound efficacy. The improved circulation created by graduated compression will help muscles to warm up more quickly and stay warm and will also help to reduce fatigue. In professional sport, VR Compression has made significant contributions to supporting competition both before, during and after. By this I refer to the use of compression for travel (flights, road etc.), in competition and in recovery, for which there are different types of apparel. I am very pleased to hear that compression garments are available to all and especially medical grade compression that is offered by Compression Advisory.
This has the benefit of being more custom fit, education and support around types of compression for different situations and the highest standards of design and delivery of product that we demand in elite sport.” – This has the benefit of being more custom fit, education and support around types of compression for different situations and the highest standards of design and delivery of product that we demand in elite sport.” – Dr. Kunle Odetoyinbo, Consultant in Sports Science and Nutrition.
During the winter months, we tend to see a rise in injuries related to a lack of a warm-up before exercise. Cold muscles are usually stiff and tense and are more likely to be sprained or strained during activity. If the muscles are warm and pliable, it improves their flexibility and helps decrease injuries.
Before athletic activity, for riders, it is good idea to stretch, use a foam roller on tight muscles, wear extra layers while warming up etc. For horses, it’s good to stretch and lightly trot to warm and stretch the muscles. In extreme cold, don’t shorten the warm-up and cool down. During periods of immobility surrounding training, compression clothing, (once it is correctly fitted and contains a proper compression gradient) is going to be invaluable. Keeping muscles warm and pliable while they work and recover is something every athlete should be aiming for, no matter what their sport or level, human or equine!
Issues can arise from training out in the cold, but equally from exposure to the extra cold before training and during recovery even when training has occurred indoors, in a heated arena for example e.g. being cold during the trailering to the arena and/ or event and not giving your muscles extra time to warm-up before taking on your usual routine or a blast of cold as you cool down from your exercise or performance and then trailer back home. This will cause vasoconstriction as mentioned earlier which must then be accounted for when timing/planning your warm-up/recovery program.
Post-workout and Post-Performance
“We have had immensely positive feedback from footballers (and their coaches/physios) who may be on the bench for part of a match and trying to keep muscles warm after warm-up for when they are called up. Warm clothing and hydration are key but compression socks and sleeves that they can keep on throughout and then go out and play in have been a huge advantage.” – Dr Akbar de Medici, Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health. With the use of Hidez Animal Compression Active suit, this benefit of compression can be shared with your Equine partner as well.
Once your workout or performance is over, or when you take a break in activity, how you cool down is equally as important as how you warmed up. Allow your muscles to cool down slowly before you transition outside into the cold weather/immobility if you’re already outside. Compression is great here as it will keep the blood flowing, even after your activity level and heart rate have slowed down. Compress with recovery compression garments for 4+ hours, etc. to prevent muscle soreness and Lactic Acid build-up.
Whether you choose to cover with a cooler and add Hidez Compression Socks/Hidez Ice Compression Socks to the lower extremities, or use a Travel and Recovery (or Active) Compression suit. Your horse will benefit from from the added protection from sprains and strains – muscles and connective tissue function more efficiently when warm, so it makes sense warm up thoroughly before your chosen winter riding discipline. Remember to take cold temperatures into account when planning your warm up and your cool down. Hidez Animal Compression can help manage this and keep you going year-round!
You can read more about Hidez Animal Compression, see measuring and fitting “How-t0” videos, read other’s testimonies, and check pricing at: www.BuyHidez.com .
You can even use SNOW to ice the legs, compression layer underneath, Pocket for Ice (and snow) on top.