Published: January 11, 2018

    Benefits of Exercising During the Winter

    Exercise is much more appealing when we’re preparing for beach season and the warm sun is shining as we go for our morning run or do yoga on the lawn. But as the snowy winds of winter roll in many athletes and fitness enthusiasts take an extended break from exercise and retreat into a more sedentary lifestyle. After all, who wants to sweat when you stay snuggled and cozy by the fireplace?

    However, maintaining your active lifestyle and workout regimen during winter is important for your overall health. Here are some of the best benefits of exercising during the cold winter months, especially out in the elements:

    • You’ll Fight the Seasonal Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a real condition that occurs due to the increased isolation and lack of sunshine during the winter months. Getting outside and exercising has some great psychological benefits that can fight the blues, as well as proven chemical boosts in the form endorphins. In order to remain warm your body releases more dopamine and serotonin during a workout in the cold, which will do wonders for your mood!
    • You’ll Get Better at Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs: Muscles cool down and become rigid more quickly in the cold, so in order to counteract this natural phenomenon you’ll need to extend and perfect your warm-up and cool-down routines to keep your body loose and warm. This will help keep your internal temperature pretty warm and will combat common problems in the winter like twists or tears. Look up appropriate stretches for the specific exercises you do to stay limber all winter long.
    • You’ll Drink More Water: Staying hydrated is imperative when engaging in vigorous exercise. When you work out outside the sweat that forms will evaporate rapidly due to the low temperatures, making it seem like you’re sweating less. In reality, when you exercise in the cold you’ll need to drink more water before, during, and after your full workout in order to stay hydrated. Luckily, conditioning your body to drink more filtered water will lead to a healthier lifestyle! Drinking filtered water comes with many health benefits.
    • You’ll Burn More Calories: You read that right! Exercising in the cold will burn the standard amount of calories necessary to expend energy, plus additional energy as your body regulates its own temperature to combat the cold. This makes it easier to slim down and stay fit after an excessive holiday feast or one too many cups of eggnog. This will also come in handy if you happen to miss a workout during holiday travels – simply factor in those extra calories and you may break even!
    • You’ll Transform White Fat Into Brown Fat: What does this mean for your body? According to an academic article over at Science Daily cold temperatures convert white fat tissue (which is stored as belly and thigh fat) into brown fat. Brown fat that readily burns calories and disappears in order to generate heat. So, your body makes it easier for you to really shed the pounds if you dedicate to running or exercising out in the cold!

    Get outside and get moving this winter: your body will thank you! Be sure to drink the recommended amount of filtered water (or even a little extra) based on your rate of exertion. Not sure how much you’re sweating? We help you calculate your sweat rate here.