Hey, we get it, winter makes getting out of bed and into the shower difficult, let alone putting on gym wear and working out. You’d rather put slipper socks over your socks, order in and make a dent on the sofa until spring.
However, exercising in cold weather has some great health benefits you just can’t ignore:
You’ll burn more calories.
As the body works harder to regulate its core temperature among the elements, you’ll burn a few more calories during your wintry workout compared to indoors. While the calorie burn varies with each person’s body mass and the extremity of the temperature, it can be a nice morale booster (especially around the food-focused holidays) to get more out of your sweat session in this regard.
You’ll strengthen your heart.
Cold weather also makes the heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body. For a weak heart that struggles to manage the additional stress, this process can exacerbate illness and injury. But a regular exerciser with cardiovascular endurance could make their heart muscle even stronger with these cold-weather sessions, better preparing the body for more strenuous workouts in the future — not to mention other non-exercise stresses in life.
You’ll build a tolerance for the cold elements.
Proper warm-up and cool-down movements are crucial to keeping the body in top fitness shape, but they become even more critical when it’s cold outside. Keeping the body loose, limber and warm for a chilly workout can help avoid painful twists, sprains, tears and other injuries. Winter workouts will encourage you to become a pro when it comes to full warm-up and cool-down routines, the former to keep your internal body temperature elevated, and the latter to reduce unnecessary tightness inspired by the chill in the air.
You’ll get a dose of vitamin D.
Sure, it may be cold, but that doesn’t mean the extra sun exposure won’t supply you with the same critical nutrients it does throughout the warmer parts of the year. The benefit actually feels more substantial in winter since the amount of natural light is more restricted. Just remember to wear your sunscreen (yes, even when it’s freezing) after your skin is exposed for 10 to 15 minutes.
You’ll feel happier and more energised.
Cold-weather exercise can also boost one’s mood, thanks to the lack of humidity (which creates that heavy air feeling in the summer months) and the stimulating aspect of the chill. As the body works harder to stay warm, the number of endorphins produced also increases, leaving you with a stronger sense of happiness and lightness following a workout in the cold.
To help avoid a cold getting in the way of your winter fitness goals, consider the Releaf Echinacea range, which consists of natural products that can help relieve the symptoms of cold and flu.
Releaf Echinacea Drops and Releaf Echinacea Capsules are products of natural origin that contain not only Echinacea but also added Vitamin C, an essential vitamin for the maintenance of good health that may help to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and fight off respiratory tract infections. (1)