Many people despise working out indoors, but just because the weather is getting frosty doesn’t mean that you should be putting your cardio workouts on ice for the winter. Exercising in cold weather actually has some pretty surprising benefits, which will hopefully motivate you to get away from the fireplace and into fresh air this winter.
The Benefits of Exercising in the Cold:
- Exercising in cold weather is more invigorating than humid, balmy heat, and will help you run or bike faster, for longer periods of time.
- The brisk temperature will keep your senses stimulated, rather than muggy, and you are much less likely to stop your workout from overheating.
- Your body has to work harder in the cold, expending energy to stay warm, as well as the actual exercising, meaning that there is an increase in calories burned per winter workout.
- The increase in energy expended translates into an increase in endorphin production, so you end your workout feeling both invigorated, and happier.
Tips for your Winter Workout:
- Warm up: I always recommend warming up for every single workout, but it is especially essential if you are going to be running or biking in cold weather. Before you leave home, do 50 jumping jacks to get your temperature up, and your muscles loosened, so you can hit the ground running once you get outside.
- Hydrate: Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you’re not going to sweat! You still should hydrate before, during, and after each winter workout. The cold air is also much drier in the fall and winter months, meaning that your skin, mouth, and throat will become parched quite easily, so always bring a water bottle with you.
- Layer clothes: Maintaining a comfortable temperature while you exercise is important, so make sure to dress in layers for the cold weather. The bottom layer should be thin, breathable, and absorbent. The next layer should keep you warm, and the top layer should be wind and water resistant. Finally, don’t forget a hat, gloves, and neck-warmer, as you lose most of your body heat through your extremities.
- Breathe through your nose: If it is colder than 35 degrees outside, then breathing heavily through your mouth while you run or bike can have an uncomfortable chilling effect on your mouth, throat, and lungs. Breathing deeply through your nose will help to offset the raw feeling of breathing in cold air.
My personal favorite part about completing a winter workout? Returning home to a gigantic mug of green tea. Plus, winter workouts means that you’ll be beach-body ready come summertime.