When winter blows in and the days start to get shorter and colder, you can pull the blankets over your head and hibernate—or you can suit up and head outside for an outdoor winter adventure. Exercising in colder weather has distinct advantages over working out in warmer weather, so there is no reason to take a break when the temperatures drop. There are a number of advantages to working out in colder weather that most people disregard.
In the winter we do not have to deal with heat or humidity. We all know heat and humidity can be extremely dangerous to our body but can also be uncomfortable and frustrating to work out in if you are not used to it. It is easier for our bodies to adapt when the temperature begins to drop, and you may be able to workout longer in the cold than in the heat. Working out longer allows your body to burn more calories and it takes more energy to keep the body warm when exercising in the cold. Another advantage to working out during the winter is your body has a chance to soak up Vitamin D that it lacks during the winter months. Vitamin D helps boost your immune system, creates strong bones, strengthens muscles, and helps maintain blood sugar levels which can prevent diabetes.
Try these outdoor activities to help keep you active in the winter:
- Walk, Hike, or Jog
- Shovel Snow
- Rake Leaves
- Ice skating
Exercising in the cold can be beneficial, but there are things to keep in mind when being outside for longer amounts of time. Dress in layers and be sure to cover your hands, ears, and feet. Layers will allow you to stay warm without producing too much moisture on the skin which could make you even colder. Our hands, ears, and feet are where our heat escapes and they tend to have a lack of circulation, keeping them covered helps keep them warm when the temperature drops. Be aware of the signs of hypothermia and bundle up when going outside. If you are not cold and uncomfortable you are more likely to enjoy your time outside instead of running back inside shortly after going out.
Exercise can boost your immune system during the long cold and flu months. Even just 20 minutes a day can boost your immune system enough to help fight simple bacterial and viral infections. Below is a list of indoor activities to keep you active when you are not motivated to bundle up and get outside.
- Home workout
- Active household chores like vacuuming
- Roller skating
- Yoga or group classes
- Stair climbing
- Rock climbing
Find a way to stay motivated when the temperatures drop, and the days begin to shorten this winter. Invest in a few high-quality products and clothing items so your time outside is more enjoyable and you can take in the full benefits of being outside in the fresh air. You can pick up a new activity or try something you have always wanted to do but have not had a chance. Your body will thank you.