Mastering the winter chill: top warm-up tips for active kids
As the winter chill sets in, the excitement of grassroots football and rugby resumes on frost-covered fields. However, plummeting temperatures pose a challenge for our young athletes and their coaches. To ensure a safe and effective training session, we consulted a team of experts and grassroots’ coaches to compile a set of top tips for warming up kids and preventing cold-fatigue and injury during the colder months
1. Early start, extended warm-up
During January and February especially, the cold weather demands a lengthier warm-up routine. Initiate your workout a bit earlier than usual, allowing ample time for your young athletes to prepare their muscles and joints for action. If an earlier start isn’t possible, simply dedicate more time to the warm up and explain your reasons for doing this. Don’t forget – warm ups can be fun and sometimes the best part of training!
2. Dynamic stretching
Kick off the warm-up with dynamic stretching exercises, such as walking lunges and arm circles. These movements not only enhance blood flow but also increase joint flexibility, reducing the risk of injuries during the training session.
3. Indoor cardio blast
For those planning to exercise outdoors, consider a brief indoor cardio warm-up to elevate body temperature. Simple activities like marching or jogging on the spot, or a quick bout of jumping jacks, for about five minutes, can make a significant difference.
4. Pre-workout snacking
On matchdays, ensure your child or team indulges in a pre-workout snack for an energy boost. Complement this with a warm breakfast, like porridge, or a hot drink to elevate body temperature before hitting the field.
5. Nutrient-rich diet
Perhaps easier said than done but encourage the consumption of fruits and vegetables to provide essential vitamins and minerals. While it might be challenging for some fussy eaters, incorporating these into meals or snacks is vital for overall winter health.
6. Warm meals for the win
Prioritise warm meals, snacks, or drinks to increase body temperature before training. Options such as protein porridge, stewed fruit, or dippy eggs with toast (try marmite soldiers – trust us on this one!) not only taste great but also provide the warmth needed for a pre-winter workout.
7. Hydration matters
Contrary to popular belief, staying hydrated is just as crucial in winter. Despite feeling less thirsty, players still lose fluids through respiration and sweat. Make it a habit for kids to drink water before, during, and after workouts. If water is too ‘boring’ for them, then try enhancing the appeal by adding berries or citrus fruits to their water bottles.
8. Sip on warm drinks
Combating the winter chill and staying hydrated can go hand in hand. Encourage the consumption of warm drinks like herbal tea or warm water with lemon, pre- or post-workout, (warm squash is always a winner!!) and a delightful way to stay hydrated and maintain body temperature. Keeping a flask handy in the car is also good for chilly spectators too!
9. Layer up for success
As the temperature drops, it's essential to equip your young athletes with the right gear to brave the winter elements. Laceeze's Defiance Winter Clothing range offers a selection of specially crafted items; including thermal gloves, snoods, baselayers, and beanies. Baselayers are especially important because they provide an additional layer of insulation, helping to regulate body temperature by trapping heat close to the skin. They also wick away moisture from the skin, keeping the body dry. Tailored to meet the unique needs of children, these essential accessories provide the utmost warmth and comfort, ensuring your children are well-prepared for both training sessions and matches in colder weather.
If you have personal experiences or additional tips to share, Laceeze welcomes your insights! Drop an email to email@example.com, and your #traininghacks might be featured in an upcoming blog article.
By implementing these winter warm-up strategies, parents and coaches can ensure that young football and rugby enthusiasts not only brave the cold but also perform at their best on the field. So, lace up those boots (don’t forget the Laceeze!) and embrace the winter training.