Exercising outside in winter has benefits that may not be achieved as efficiently elsewhere.
I know it’s tough to make yourself to exercise outside these days. Before you surrender to restrict yourself to the crowded, smelly gym (or cram yourself into your bed…!) for the next few months, reconsider the idea of a winter workout.
There is very little to worry about anyways. Just keep you with enough layers made of water-proof fabrics so your body is going to be at a healthy temperature whilst functioning well as it would in any other workout environment.
Not so many know or realise that exercising outside during the wintertime actually has benefits that may not be achieved as efficiently elsewhere.
Hopefully this article gives you a mental support to pull yourself away from that cozy bed or the overheated office room. Here are the five bonus benefits of sweating it out in the cold weather — and two tips to make you to be convinced.
You would burn more calories.
You would strengthen your heart.
You would build a tolerance for the freezing environment.
You would get a dose of vitamin D.
You would feel happier and more energised.
You should drink more water.
You should remember the importance of warm-up and cool-down routines.
1. You would burn more calories.
Your body works harder to regulate its core temperature and you’ll burn more calories during your wintry workout compared to one conducted indoors. The amount of extra calories burn varies with each person’s body mass and the extremity of the temperature. Tudor’s Life & Fitness’ research team found that you’ll burn extra calories especially during the warm-up stage of the workout.
2. You would strengthen your heart.
Cold environment makes your heart work harder to pump your blood throughout the body and regular wintry training can make your heart muscle rather strong. For anyone with an unhealthy heart or weak cardiovascular endurance, we advise you to consult your physician to see if you can bear the additional stress to your heart.
3. You would build a tolerance for the freezing environment.
I guarantee that your first outdoor workout is going to be very painful and unpleasant, however, please rest assured that over time, it does get easier.
We found that it’s important to adjust your expectations as you acclimate as your exercise is going to be much harder in the cold environment. Pay attention to the amount of effort you’re putting in rather than hitting certain time, distance or other key performance indicators, and just make sure you enjoy the process.
4. You would get a dose of vitamin D.
Unless you’re in Scotland, you can get the sun exposure even in winter period. Simply expose yourself for at least 15 minutes, and this would supply you with the critical nutrients. Because the amount of natural light is already so restricted in winter, The relative benefit also feels more substantial.
5. You would feel happier and more energised.
Winter environment can be a good source of morale, thanks to the lack of humidity (Summer months in Japan, anyone?) and the stimulating aspect of the chill. Scientists found that the amount of endorphins produced also increases as the body works harder to stay warm. The power of this hormone leaves you with a stronger sense of happiness and lightness following a a workout in the cold.
- You should drink more water.
Make sure to stay hydrated as it’s the key element in minimising the dangers of cold-weather workouts. Even if you sweat, that sweat evaporates rather fast into the cold, dry air, making it seem as though the body is losing less water. Tudor’s advise is to drink water before, during and after the workout as it would help maintain peak performance, protect the body from injury and stay warm from start to finish. Don’t wait to feel thirsty to hydrate.
- You should remember the importance of warm-up and cool-down routines.