Let us point out some obvious, yet often neglected, facts: working out decreases stress and anxiety, improves overall health, and keeps your body young and energized. For those who work out regularly, no season or climate changes will make any difference: they will not skip a workout.
However, for those who always seek excuses to skip gym training, or fitness, or Pilates, winter work out is not even an option. There are more reasons you need to know that will encourage you to workout in winter.
Why should you work out outdoor in winter?
First of all, fresh air is very beneficial for your body and mind.
According to a study published in Environmental Science & Technology, outdoor exercising decrease frustration, tension, and depression.
There is also a biological reason that support outdoor exercising: in cold, our body is working out harder and the production of endorphin is even higher, which makes us happier and relaxed.
Natural light is also a reason for outdoor exercising, it fights depression, and seasonal affective disorder.
Finally, in winter you will burn more calories. A new study by Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt of Maastricht University Medical Center, published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism, explains how cold months and exposure to cold air increase the amount of energy body has to expend to keep the temperature up.
“Because 90% percent of the time we are exposed to indoor conditions, health aspects of ambient temperatures warrant exploration. What would it mean if we let our bodies work again to control body temperature?”
Now, when you know the advantages of exercising in cold weather, whether you run, jog or walk around the neighborhood, it is time you consider a winter workout. And if you decide to go outside, and leave that cozy and warm calorie-gaining atmosphere, this is what you need to know before you step your foot outside.
How can you dress properly for winter outdoor work out?
Many scientists say that if you are warm enough, and used to exercising, there is no temperature you can’t work out in. However, you need to know how to dress properly.
Dress in three layers: avoid heavy cotton materials that absorb sweat and use a lightweight synthetic material, add another layer of wool, and top it with water-repellant and wind-resistant material. Wear light clothing, as it gets dark sooner in winter months. Do not dress too warmly.
Wear a hat, always.
Wear gloves to protect your fingers from frostbite.
Cover your face with a mask or scarf when the temperature is below freezing.
Wear sturdy footwear to prevent slips and falls on snow and ice.
Drank plenty of water; remember that dehydration is sometimes difficult to notice during cold weather.
Check the temperature and the forecast.
Tell someone the running route.