New Health Guide

Benefits of Working Out in Cold Weather and Helpful Tips

Dec 12, 2017

Regardless of the season, there is nothing that gets the body going like breathing in fresh air. Exercising outdoors in winter can be refreshing and very energizing to your body. Exercising helps to decrease anxiety, depression and a lot of other health issues.

While most people enjoy outdoor exercise, it can become increasingly difficult during the winter season. Even so, exercising in cold weather comes with numerous benefits when done right. Apart from preventing the weight gain that normally occurs in the winter season, exercising in the cold season makes it possible for you to maintain your great form.

To ensure you reap the most benefits, here are some tips you can use to get the most out of exercising in this cold season.  

Staying Warm and Safe When Exercising When It’s Cold

If you choose to continue with your outdoor workout routine when the cold season sets in, you need to figure out how to dress.  You should dress appropriately and pay attention to the following factors to ensure you are warm and safe when exercising in the cold.

  1. Preparing For Exercise

  • It is advisable for you to dress in at least three layers before you go out. Ensure you use a synthetic material that will keep moisture away from the skin. Heavy cotton material may seem appropriate, buy you should avoid it as it absorbs sweat and traps wetness close to the body. This increases your chances of suffering from hypothermia.
  • On top of the synthetic garments, add layers of wool or even fleece. These help to trap heat and keep it in your body. On top of this warm garment, put on a garment made of wind resistant and water repellant material.
  • Make sure to wear a hat when exercising in cold weather. This is important because at least 50 percent of the body heat can be lost from an uncovered head.
  • Do not leave the house without a pair of gloves. This protects your hands and fingers from getting frostbite. Ensure you cover your face using a mask or scarf. This is especially important if the temperatures are below freezing point as it avoids frostbite. This also helps to ensure the air that enters your lungs as you breath is a bit warm.
  • Your footwear should be sturdy and have traction to prevent slips and falls especially if it is snowing. Also, ensure you wear reflective clothing on top of your garments. This is because it can get dark during the cold season. Reflective clothing ensures that drivers are able to see you.
  1. Hydrate

Just like in the hot season, it is important to stay hydrated in the cold season. Ensure you take in fluids before and after your workout. If you are not thirsty, force yourself to hydrate as dehydration is harder to notice in cold seasons.

  1. Stay Safe 

Keep safe when exercising in cold weather. It is advisable to let someone know the route you intend to take. In case you stay out too long because of an accident, you can be sure that someone will come looking for you.

Benefits Of Exercising During the Cold Weather

  1. Burns More Calories

During the cold season, your body works harder to regulate your body temperature against the harsh elements. This causes you to burn more calories during your workout outdoors. The calories lost when exercising during cold weather will vary from one person to the next.  Even so, you can be sure to burn more calories in the cold season than you would in warmer seasons.

  1. It Is Good For Your Heart

During the cold weather, your heart works harder to move blood throughout your body. If you are used to working out regularly and have built your cardiovascular endurance, you stand to make your heart muscles stronger when exercising during cold weather.

  1. Ensures You Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is a very important factor when exercising during cold weather. As you exercise, you lose a lot of body water mass through sweating. This leaves you feeling thirsty and therefore encourages you to take up more fluids during the cold season. It is important to know that your body loses almost the same amount of body water mass when you workout during the cold season as you do in hot seasons. Therefore, ensure you drink up before your workout and after your workout. Staying hydrated keeps you in your best form and protects the body from injury. Do not wait until you get thirsty to hydrate. Make this a habit.

  1. Helps To Build On Your Tolerance To Freezing

The first winter workout will definitely feel like torture. However, your body gets used to the freezing temperatures. This makes your body more tolerant to extreme temperatures. With time, you will notice that you feel warmer than most people in the cold seasons. This is because your body has become more tolerant to cold weather than other people’s.

  1. You Enjoy Exposure to Vitamin D

While it may be freezing cold, that does not mean that the sun will not come out every once in a while. Exposing yourself to that morning sun ensures you enjoy a good dose of vitamin D. Just make sure you put on sunscreen when going out.

  1. It Boosts Your Mood And Energy

Exercising in cold weather can do a lot of good to your moods. This is mostly attributed to the low levels of humidity, which ensures there is fresh, lighter air to breathe, and the stimulation you get from the chilling weather. Your body will work harder to stay warm during the cold season. This means that your body releases more endorphins, the feel-good hormones. This leaves you feeling happy, content and energized.  

  1. You Keep Fit 

Most people put on a lot of weight during the cold season. This is because they stop exercising and eat more to generate body heat. When you exercise in cold weather, you keep off the extra weight. This makes it easier for you to ease into the warmer seasons without having to work twice as hard to lose the extra pounds gained in winter.