With its cold temperatures and shorter days, winter sometimes derails our best intentions to exercise and instead makes us cosy (read lazy) indoors. Finding the motivation to get out of a warm bed and exercise outdoors can be a challenge. However, doing so can reap a surprising number of benefits.
Check out these top 5 reasons to exercise this winter.
Burn More Calories
If weight loss is your goal, then you’ll be pleased to discover cold weather has been found to burn more calories. If you exercise outside in the cold, your body burns more calories to regulate its core temperature, which makes it worth getting up for an early morning brisk walk or run. Your body has to work harder to raise its temperature, and since there is a low risk of overheating you can often work out longer and harder.
Say Goodbye to Winter Blues
It’s a known fact that less sunlight during the winter season can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder — a type of depression related to changing seasons. While you might only be experiencing a slight dip in your overall mood, if you’re looking for an effective boost then exercise can help improve your mood by releasing serotonin and dopamine, the “feel-good” endorphins.
Make Your Heart Healthier
Just as your body has to work harder in the cold weather to regulate its core temperature, your heart also has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. If you have a healthy heart, exercising outside can make your heart even stronger and build more endurance for harder workouts in the future.
Boost Your Immunity
Consistent workouts strengthen your immune system, which is particularly important during cold and flu season, even more so this year. Vitamin D deficiencies are even more common in the winter if we spend more time indoors. Taking your workout outside will give you a good dose of vitamin D that will help keep your bones healthy and protect you against diseases and other health conditions.
End the Year on a High Note
Are you stuck in a never-ending loop of making a new year’s resolution of getting fitter and then eventually giving up somewhere down the line? Don’t worry, you are not the only one. What happens quite often is that we set out a date to start something as rudimentary as exercising and then go all guns blazing right from day 1. This results in straining the body too quickly. Let’s switch things up a little this year and start working towards our fitness goals in December. Get into the habit of consistency and ease your way through your new year’s resolution come January 1st!
There are numerous benefits to regular exercise, however, working out during winter is the key to maintaining good mental and physical fitness, the whole year-round.