As the days shorten and temperatures plummet, it can be tempting to go into hibernation, putting your workout routine into storage right along with your favorite cutoffs. However, just because the warm, welcoming temperatures of spring and summer have given way to ice, snow and icky weather, doesn’t mean you should give up your active lifestyle. Read on for more information on the importance of staying active, even during the winter months:
Can be More Effective at Burning Fat
Research has discovered an interesting fact when it comes to working out in the cold. It can actually help your body burn even more fat than when you work out in more mild weather. This occurs because our sarcolipin, which is a peptide found inside our muscles, is activated by the cold, which in turn makes your workout more effective. So, put on thick yoga pants or warm women running apparel and hit the trail, because the cold will work to your advantage.
Prevents Depression and Symptoms of SAD
SAD, or seasonal affective disorder, is a common disorder that occurs when the days shorten during the winter months. It is the body’s response to shorter days and less exposure to the sun. Nearly half a million people experience some symptoms of SAD each winter. Its symptoms mimic those of classic depression except they fade with the emergence of spring and summer. Most people experience SAD from September to April, with spikes in symptoms most often noted in December, January and February. By exercising outdoors in your luxury activewear for between 30 and 60 minutes daily, you can combat the effects of SAD by ensuring you get at least some exposure to sunlight daily.
Increases Your Natural Endurance
If you have tried to work out in the heat of the summer, with its high humidity levels, you might have been unable to build up any sort of endurance due to the immense amount of work your heart had to do just to keep up. In cold temps, your heart does not have to work as hard because you are sweating less. This means you expend less energy, making the winter an ideal time to work on your endurance, aiming to duplicate the same workout in the heat of the summer.
Can Improve Your Immunity
While we are all trying to stay safe with the insurgence of COVID-19 inundating the country, for centuries, even before this virus, winter typically brought with it an onslaught of cold and flu sickness. Thankfully, by maintaining a workout regimen throughout the winter months, you will actually improve your body’s natural immunity to not only the cold and flu but to any novel viruses, like COVID as well. While research specific to COVID immunity is forthcoming, there is a great deal of evidence present that proves regular exercise is an effective way to strengthen the immune system, giving you a better chance at fighting off any viral illness. Therefore, staying active during the winter could reduce your risk of getting sick.
Reduce Winter Weight Gain
We can all relate a bit to the hibernating bear that packs on the pounds during the winter months, enjoying comfort food and extra naps. However, packing on extra pounds every winter only to have to work them off in the summer is not ideal. Maintaining a good workout regimen, even through the winter, can prevent winter weight gain altogether, giving you a head start as you approach bathing suit season.
Staying active even during the cold, dreary winter months is vastly important to your overall health for all the reasons listed above and many others. Don’t allow yourself to deviate from your fitness goals just because the temperatures are cooler and the days shorter. Press on, maintain your focus and keep pressing forward!