Benefits Of Cold Weather Workouts: Why You SHOULD Train in the Winter
Don't let the cold weather stop you from going for your fitness goals!
There are plenty of benefits to working out in the wintertime. In fact, you might find that you enjoy it more than when it's warm outside.
Once you experience all the benefits that come with training in winter, you'll never want to stop.
From increased strength and endurance to better mental health, read on to find out why you should brave the cold and get moving:
- Working out in the winter has many benefits, including improving your mood, getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, and presents new training opportunities.
- Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and take advantage of any sunshine during your winter workouts.
- Winter is a great time to try out new activities, such as skiing or hiking.
Boosts Your Immune System
Winter is for many a time for feeling unwell, ie. colds, flu, etc. Surprisingly, exercising in the winter can give your immune system a significant boost. Exercise naturally increases your body temperature which is thought to help fight off nasty viruses and bacteria.
Protect Your Bones and Joints
The cold weather can be hard on your bones and joints, leading to stiffness and aches. But did you know that exercising in the colder weather can actually help protect your bones and joints?
When you exercise in cold temperatures, your body starts to increase its production of collagen, a protein that's essential for healthy joint cartilage.
Great Cardiovascular Workout
Cardiovascular fitness is essential for a healthy body, and working out in the winter is one of the most effective ways to increase your cardiovascular endurance.
Studies have revealed that cardio is, in fact, harder in the cold, meaning that your heart rate is elevated and you burn more calories. The body has to work harder to maintain optimal temperature in cooler weather and therefore more energy is expended.
Increase Your Strength and Endurance
Cold weather workouts can significantly improve your strength and endurance as your body adapts to the cold temperatures. Because your muscles have to work extra hard in the cold, they become stronger and more resilient over time.
Improves Your Mood
The shorter and darker days of winter can have a negative effect on our mood. Exercise is one of the best ways to counter this and get your body moving, even in cold weather.
Generally speaking, exercising boosts our endorphin levels - the hormone associated with happiness - and so can help to boost your mood and energy levels.
Working out in the winter will also help you to establish a healthy routine and stick with it, giving you a sense of accomplishment which can be beneficial for your mental health. When it's dark and cold outside, it becomes far too easy to stay in bed, skip the workout and get stuck in a negative cycle.
The Sunshine Vitamin Keeps You Healthy, Strong And Happy
Exercising in the colder weather can still help you to get your daily dose of Vitamin D from the sun. Studies have found that Vitamin D helps to improve our strength and endurance as well as keeping us healthy and strong. It's also linked with reducing symptoms associated with depression and improving mood - so don't forget to take advantage of any sunshine during your winter workouts.
Presents New Training Opportunities
Depending on where you live, winter is also a great time to try out new activities that you wouldn't necessarily think to do at any other time:
If you are lucky enough to either somewhere you might see significant snow during the latter half of the year OR live near a ski slope (artificial ones work great, too!) this is a fantastic way to get your workout in, while also having some fun, especially with friends.
Just be sure to bring someone with you who knows how to ski and is willing to teach you - skiing may look easy, however, it is a cardiovascular workout for a reason..!
If skiing is not your thing, perhaps ice skating might be more up your alley. It's a great way to work your cardiovascular system while also strengthening your core muscles as you balance on the ice. Again, make sure to bring someone along who knows how to skate if you are a beginner.
Hiking in winter is just as safe and rewarding as it is in the summer months, so why not give that a try? The fresh air and stunning winter scenery will definitely make you appreciate nature even more.
Winter hiking can be an intense workout - just make sure to dress for the cold weather; appropriate clothing and footwear is key. Wear lots of layers that you can take off/put back on as needed and some proper hiking boots + socks to keep you feet warm to stop you taking any unnecessary spills from the ice.
Cycling may not be at the forefront of your mind in the colder weather, however, a decent bike with a thicker set of tyres will be your best friend when it comes to cycling in winter.
Cyclocross bikes are specifically designed for riding on mud and other terrain, so they are perfect for cooler weather rides.
Remember to dress warmly with some windproof gear and check the weather before you set off - as always with any outdoor activities - as well as your bike's tyres.
There are so many benefits to working out in the winter, including improving your mood, getting your daily dose of Vitamin D, and presenting new training opportunities.
With a little preparation, winter can be a fantastic time for fitness enthusiasts of all levels to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
You may be lucky enough to live in a place where you get to experience all the seasons so why wouldn't you take advantage of the change in temperature and landscape to get a different type of workout?
Don't let the cold stop you from staying in shape! Dress appropriately for the weather, take advantage of any sunny days, and don't be afraid to try something new.
What are your FAVOURITE winter workouts? Let us know in the comments!