It can be hard to pick up the motivation to go outside and train when the temperature drops into the negatives. If still being fit by spring and able to gulp down a few extra portions of soup doesn’t get you raring to go then knowing there are a few added perks to training in the cold will.
While it can never be too cold to exercise it is imperative to take extra caution when exercising in cold, icy weather as there are far more hazards.
More Calories are Burned
Your body has to use more energy to keep warm as well as to complete the exercise you’re attempting. This leads to more calories being burnt which is vital if you’re aiming to lose weight.
Running in cold weather puts more strain on your heart as it has to pump blood round your body faster as you exercise. If you’re not the fittest or have heart problems it’s advised you get checked by a doctor beforehand.
The lack of natural light can lead to higher rates of depression over winter. Exercising outdoors gives you more exposure to natural light, while the actual workout boosts serotonin levels, the ‘feel-good’ chemical inside all of us.
The good sensation you get after completing a workout is intensified in cold weather, especially when you get home and can have a nice warm bath or shower.
Speed and Endurance Improves
Running or cycling regularly improves endurance anyway, but doing it in the cold provides an added boost as your heart and lungs work overtime. Training in cold conditions will have you gasping for breath more initially, but that’s your body using oxygen more efficiently. Over time this will significantly benefit your speed alongside endurance.
Of course running around in freezing conditions wearing nothing but a mankini is likely to do more damage than good. Therefore you should still wear appropriate clothing. Regatta has a great range and wearing numerous thin layers rather than a couple of thick ones is best practice.
Keeping fit along with a healthy diet keeps illness at bay but the cold months can be a particular weak period for many people. Working out for around 45 minutes a day will help you keep on top of things and be fit for work and play. Exercise has even been shown to help blast away winter colds if you’re unlucky enough to catch one.