It’s winter, it’s cold and staying in your toasty warm bed for just a few more minutes sounds better than just about anything right now. But, you promised yourself…2017 is the year you’re going to stay on your fitness track - why does the New Year have to begin while it’s so cold!? Guess what? The cold weather is no reason to skip your workouts. As a matter of fact recent research has shown that exercising in cold temps means burning more calories.
As well, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism did a study in 2014 that showed exercising in the cold can help encourage your body to turn white fat into brown fat helping your body burn calories.
The extra calorie burn is also influenced by the fact that your body works harder to regulate your core temperature. Additional benefits include strengthening your heart – your heart works harder to distribute blood. And you’ll stay more hydrated, something everyone should be doing during their cold weather workouts. You may not feel thirsty but you’re still sweating and losing precious hydration, hydrate before, during and after your workout.
There are several ways to workout in the winter including walking, running, ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding. And did you know that getting outdoors in the winter helps with the necessary intake of Vitamin D. This ‘sunshine vitamin’ helps to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, facilitates normal immune system function, and may play a role in fighting depression and losing weight.
Now that you’re totally sold on continuing your exercise routine even when it’s cold outside, be sure to prepare properly. Warm up indoors with some jumping jacks and high knees, it’s important to have warm muscles to combat the cold weather. And cooling down is important too…this is the time to stretch your muscles to reduce soreness and fatigue. And, having the right gear will help too. A good hat, gloves and jacket will make all the difference. Ask the expert at your local sports store for the best gear for your winter sport.
Happy Winter Exercising!