As the evenings draw in and the weather gets colder, it’s not uncommon to lose your motivation to get outside and stay active. Going out for a jog or bike ride when the sun is shining is a pleasant experience, and one many of us are much more likely to choose over a wet and windy run.
We are starting to see those dark mornings and cold evenings once again. However, that doesn’t mean all your hard work from the summer needs to be wasted. It can be very tempting to stay inside, wrap up warm and snuggle in for the winter, but taking up such a sedentary lifestyle can wreak havoc with your body and mind.
There are tons of great benefits to working out in the colder months, and they far outweigh the downsides.
Increased Blood Flow
When it’s colder outside, your body has to switch on and warm up when you head outdoors. This increases blood flow and circulation to every vein and artery in your body.
It’s like having your own internal radiator, but you can only turn it on by getting moving. This body warmth will stay with you for hours after exercising, helping you stay toasty in the winter.
Burn More Energy
It might sound like a trick, but it’s true, your body uses more calories when you work out in the cold. This is because it has to work even harder to warm you up and keep your core temperature stable throughout your workout.
You can burn more fat and lose even more weight than you could have done during your warm, summer runs.
Regular exercise and movement help to boost your immune system and increase your defences against illnesses. Winter is the prime time for colds and flu to wreak havoc with your health. Put yourself one step ahead by maintaining your fitness and boosting your immune system.
Winter doesn’t have to be the season for endless mugs of Lemsip and mountains of tissues when you are keeping fit and active.
The Great Outdoors
Whatever the weather, there are many health benefits to getting outdoors and embracing nature. Even if it isn’t sunny and warm, getting outside in winter helps you get much-needed vitamin D. This is vital for the health of your bones, immune system and blood system.
During winter, you need even more sunlight to help your body make the vitamin D it needs. There are also potential mental health benefits to getting outdoors, including reduced anxiety and depression.
Working out in the cold weather takes a lot more mental strength and robustness than when the weather is nice. It can improve your discipline and overall mindset about exercising. New beliefs about working out when it is harder than ever can result in your becoming stronger in the long run.
The age-old saying of ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’ couldn’t be more accurate to exercising during the winter months. It takes dedication and resilience but is all worth it.
It is very common to find yourself in a bit of a workout rut when you have been doing the same routine for a long time. Keeping this same routine up in the winter can boost performance effortlessly. You will push yourself harder than ever in the cold.
You might find yourself running faster or lifting heavier because you push yourself more than you could before.
As we mentioned before, your body burns more calories when you work out in the cold because it is working harder to stay warm. You will be tapping into your body’s reserves when you are exercising in the cold, and in turn, this can boost your metabolism.
As your metabolism improves, your body will be better than ever at burning energy, even when you aren’t exercising.
Prevent SAD Syndrome
Seasonal Affect Disorder, or SAD syndrome, is a type of seasonal depression that impacts many people. It leaves you feeling depressed and down in the winter months, usually because of the shorter, darker days.
While we recommend for anyone who suffers from SAD to seek medical help if needed, a solid exercise routine in winter can also be a great prevention. Endorphins released during exercise are excellent at boosting your mood for the rest of the day. This combined with the additional vitamin D, which elevates mood will help you to feel better than ever, even during the winter.