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"Why do I care if icicles form, I've got my love to keep me warm" - Billie Holliday

Winter is here and there is a chill in the air! Winter is a great time to keep active with indoor activities, and pole, lyra and burlesque are perfect ways to keep active and out of the cold weather. 
When the winter winds are blowing, it's easy to want to stay cozy in bed or snuggled up on the couch! But incorporating regular exercise into your routine will not only help you maintain your fitness levels, but also help you beat those winter blues. This week, we are sharing some of our top tips you help you keep training all the way through the colder months.

Words by Eva Devore | Photo by Etienne Reynaud

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When getting dressed for your class, it is important to layer up. Keeping your muscles and joints warm will not only help you to acheive the moves and positions you are working towards, but also help protect you from injury.

Dressing in layers will help you manage your body temperature as you warm up and progress in your training session. Start out with a jumper or cardigan, leggings, and socks or leg warmers as you go through your warm up, and you can start to remove layers as you get warmer. 

Lyra performers might like to layer stockings and leg warmers with a leotard, or leggings and a cardigan over their sports bra. For pole performers, thigh high leg warmers or socks are great to use until you warm up. For especially cold days, you can look into purchasing leggings or leg warmers that are made from a grippy fabric!

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As the weather cools down, your warm up before class becomes even more important! Take the time to warm up your muscles, raise your heart rate, and increase the blood flow throughout your body before every training session. Your body will thank you for it!

A properly-warm body will help you to achieve moves and poses more easily, increase your stamina, and help with your flexibility. During the colder months there is an increased risk of injury as your muscles can rapidly cool down in the cold air.

Make sure to keep moving throughout your class, even doing some light stretching while your instructor explains something to the class, or practicing moves you know while waiting for your turn to be spotted.

 

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Cooling down and stretching is also very important in the colder months. As your body cools down  in the colder temperatures, your muscles can become tighter, and some people find that their flexibility lessens during the winter months.

You must listen to your body, and be cautious around flexy moves you may be able to achieve easily in warmer months. Dropping into your splits can hurt a whole lot more if you aren't properly warm!

Active stretching is a great way to keep those muscles limber during cold weather. It involves slowly moving though stretches, rather than holding them in a static position (a bit like doing a sun salutation in yoga!) You can find out more about active stretchng here.

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The weather affects different people in different ways, and some of us experience lethargy, depression and irritability in the colder months, which can also be called the "Winter Blues." Luckily, exercise is one of the proven methods for beating those feelings!

It can be hard to find the motivation to leave your cosy bed or couch and come into the studio, but knowing that there is a warm, bright studio waiting for you can definitely help! If you train with friends or classmates you can also help to keep each other accountable - plan a coffee or dinner date for after class to help you stick to your plans.

Exercise helps to release endorphins and gives us a "natural high." So not only are you warming up those lethargic muscles with physical exercise, you are also kick-starting your brain with a burst of happy feelings!

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With all the downsides of the cold weather, it can be easy to overlook the benefits of exercising at this time of year. But there are definitely benefits to take advantage of, especially for pole and lyra!

Training in cooler temperatures helps to stop you from overheating, which will let you train for longer. The cooler months are perfect for practicing your stamina, endurance and strength. While you may not be as flexy at this time of year, you can work on practicing for a longer period of time, and build your way up to moving through combos and routines easily.

For those who do pole, you will find yourself sweating a whole lot less! This helps you to stick to the pole a little more easily, so you won't be slipping and sliding. If it is really cold, you may find you still don't stick as easily, so you may need shaving cream to give you a little grip.

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The most important thing you can do in any weather is to listen to your body. Paying attention to your energy levels, the way you are feeling and your health can stop you from getting sick, or from pushing yourself too far.

It's important to be aware of how your muscles are feeling, so you can monitor to see if they are warm enough to keep training. Any soreness you experience can easily become a more serious injury if you push too hard, so don't risk it!

Winter is also flu season, so it's crucial to monitor your health and make sure you aren't sick before coming in to train. Not only is it a risk to your ability to execute moves safely, but it also can affect other students if you are contagious. We have a strict "no sickness" policy at Sky Sirens, so if you are coughing, sneezing or sniffling, you're better off staying home!