4 reasons to stay fit this winter
by Ezra •5 minutes read
Last updated: 29 Nov, 2022
With winter fast approaching, it can be difficult to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. There are many benefits to exercising in the colder season, however, especially if you switch to the outdoors for your workouts!
4 reasons to stay fit this winter
Boosts your immune system
When we exercise, immune cells circulate around our body quicker to help fight off infection. This is especially important during the winter months, when we need these cells to combat dreaded diseases like the flu. Exposure to the cold during a winter workout also tests the immune system, causing it to grow stronger.
For many people, the winter months come with feelings of sadness and fatigue. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) happens because the days are shorter, colder, and darker, and the body is not receiving enough natural daylight which helps to regulate mood.
Exercise is one of the most effective natural remedies to SAD. When we exercise, endorphins are released that make us feel good. An increase of dopamine and serotonin in the system will counteract feelings of depression and anxiety, making the cold season not as detrimental to mental wellbeing.
Switching your workout from indoors to outdoors will give you extra time in the sunlight to absorb vitamin D!
Improves your cardiovascular system, burns fat, and keeps you warm
When the fresh air outside is cold and crisp, the body has to work harder and exert more energy to pump blood to your heart and keep a stable core temperature. This causes an increase in blood flow and circulation to the veins and arteries, which improves your cardiovascular endurance and burns more calories than a summertime workout!
Naturally, your body temperature will rise during this process so outdoor exercise is a great way to keep warm in the winter.
Don’t forget: Always wear layers, and apply sunscreen, during your cold weather workout.
Chances of a better overall workout
As you have to push yourself harder physically whilst exercising in the cold weather, the chances of having a better overall workout are improved.
Winter warm up routine
Whilst warming up the body is always necessary before exercise, during a cold weather workout it is especially important to reduce the risk of injury.
Cold muscles are more likely to become injured, so before stretching you will need to engage in light forms of cardio to warm the muscles up beforehand.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, keep your arms extended and parallel to the floor.
Begin to circle your arms in small motions, gradually making the circles bigger. You should feel the stretch in your triceps.
After about 10 seconds, reverse the direction. Do this for one minute.
With your feet shoulder-width apart, lift your right knee high up to your chest.
Once your right foot touches the ground, complete the same motion with your left knee.
Continue the movement for 1 minute, always alternating between legs. Run at a faster pace to get your blood pumping harder.
To begin, stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step your left leg forward and then bend both of your knees, maintaining good posture, until your back leg is almost touching the ground.
Push back up through your left heel until you are standing again.
Repeat the movement, switching legs, for 1 minute.
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