Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Why Is It Important To Exercise In Winter.


As I look out my window, the ground is covered in snow.  I don't know what the temperature is but I know it snowed more last night because the car is covered in it.  With the colder temperatures, the shorter days, and longer nights, I find I have to push myself to exercise.  It's hard to get enthused to go to the gym when you have to prewar the car, put on your coat, shoes, etc to protect you and head off when it is so much easier to just say "I'll do it tomorrow" but as we know tomorrow never comes.  It's even hard to get motivated to exercise at home some days because we get into the snuggle up with a hot drink mentality. 

There are some important reasons to keep exercising through winter.  One is that it helps us work on the body that we want to have during the summer.  It also helps us keep over eating under control and get air into our lungs.  In addition, some of the benefits are more noticeable in winter.

First, when we can exercise outside, we expose ourselves to the sun, our bodies get Vitamin D because the sun provides that.  There are very few foods that provide you with vitamin D so when you expose your bare skin to the sun, you are bathed in it.  I live so far north, it's too hard to exercise outdoors so I have to take a supplement but if you have decent weather, get out there and enjoy the sun.

Second, participating in a workout helps warm your body up naturally.  When you workout, your core temperature helps sooth and calm your body.  It does it in the same way as soaking in a hot bath. Furthermore, regular exercise helps makes your immune system stronger because exercising makes your blood pump through your body circulating your immune cells throughout.  This helps your body fight infections and you stay healthier.  Although the effects only last a short time after the workout, it is important to exercise regularly to enjoy the long term effects of protection.

In addition, when you work out daily, your body releases chemicals that help you feel good, helps destress you, and eases depression.  When you workout, your brain releases serotonin and dopamine so you feel better and if you do this daily, you feel better the whole winter.   The best thing is that exercise helps keep the traditional winter weight gain especially when combined with proper eating.  

Now if you live in a place where you can exercise outside, there are some advantages to that.  You get direct exposure to the sun, are able to breathe in fresh air, and so many other things.  It is shown that exposure to the cold can help improve your endurance because your heart doesn't have to pump as hard, you sweat less and your exercise becomes more efficient.  There is also research to indicate that exercising outdoors in cold weather can help turn your stubborn white belly fat into calorie burning fat. 

If you decide to exercise outdoors, be sure to warm up properly, protect your head, feet, and hands, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated.  In addition, check with your doctor if you have certain conditions.  I do not exercise outside in super cold temperatures because it can trigger my asthma so I stay inside but once it has warmed up, I'm off walking. It doesn't matter if you work out indoors or outdoors, just do it regularly. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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