Cold Weather Exercise Tips and How to Maintain Energy in Winter
For athletes, training sessions and exercise routines don’t slow down just because of cold weather. In fact, the winter months are often the most important time of year to work out and stay in shape. However, it can be difficult to maintain stable levels of energy during the winter season, and low iron levels are often to blame.
Here is some information about why iron is such a critical nutrient for exercise in the winter and the challenges that athletes face at this time of the year. This article will also offer tips on how to sustain iron levels in the body during cold weather exercise for improved overall energy and performance.
Challenges of Cold Weather Exercise
Cold weather exercise is a wonderful way to avoid winter weight gain, fight the winter blues, and prepare the body for an active spring and summer ahead. Yet there are certain challenges associated with cold weather exercise, such as hypothermia, frostbite, and slip-and-fall accidents due to snow and ice. Sprains and strains, as well as exercise-induced asthma, may be more common in the winter for some athletes. Athletes who train at high altitudes or engage in winter skiing, snowboarding, or ice climbing often have increased iron needs and are more likely to become iron deficient.
Winter Iron Deficiency in Athletes
An athlete’s nutritional needs change as the seasons change, and it takes more effort to maintain a normal body temperature while the body loses heat and moisture in the cold. Women in particular are susceptible to iron deficiency because of their monthly menstrual cycles, and their anemia risk may increase in the winter. High altitudes cause the body to lose more fluids during respiration and also increase the number of red blood cells in the body that require iron. This increases the likelihood of iron deficiency in athletes and can pose health risks and reduce performance levels during cold weather training sessions.
Symptoms of Athletic Anemia
One of the biggest issues with athletic anemia is loss of stamina and endurance. Without enough iron in the body, it will feel fatigued faster and not be able to keep up with workouts. Iron deficiency in athletes may also result in reduced strength, more illnesses, recurring injuries, high heart rates during exercise, and even loss of interest in exercising.
How to Raise Your Iron Levels Fast
For many athletes, improving physical stamina, performance, and recovery can be as simple as taking iron supplements from a trusted brand, such as Fergon. Health professionals and trainers often recommend iron supplementation for endurance athletes, including runners, cyclists, and swimmers, regardless of whether they are anemic or not to make up for excess iron loss during winter training.
Eating animal products, such as red meat, fish, and poultry, is also an effective way to increase iron levels in the winter. However, foods rich in calcium, zinc, and caffeine should be avoided while eating iron-rich foods in order to promote better iron absorption. It may also help to prepare foods in iron pots and pans to boost the iron content of foods, especially tomato-based and cream-based sauces.
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