During the winter months you can at times feel like you want to avoid doing a training session at the gym or even do some exercise outside. Who wants to be out in the cold? (Brrrrr!!!)
Plus you can be more inclined to eat those higher calorie foods to keep you warm on the inside, but what happens during the winter when you eat higher calorie foods? Yes that's right you put on a few kilos and it gets harder to take it off when you approach the spring weather.
All of this can make it really tough to stick to your exercise routine and keep your eating regime in check.
But, remember, just an hour of exercise daily is usually enough to maintain your weight loss and to avoid any weight regain (1).
Here are 4 Reasons How Exercise Can Benefit You in The Winter.
1. You Will Keep Your Muscles In Shape
While working out alone rarely leads to significant weight loss, studies have shown that it does support body composition by helping you keep muscle. That hard-earned muscle is valuable, as it’s more metabolically active than body fat, helping you have a higher overall calorie burn and helping you make better use of carbohydrates and other calories consumed. It looks good, too.
2. You Will Keep Your Immune System At It's Best
Exercise in moderate amounts, followed by adequate recovery periods in between workouts, is the most beneficial exercise routine for immunity (2-4).
It’s a major reason why you should be consistent with exercise during the winter instead of scaling back. Engage in moderate-intensity exercise for approximately one hour, three to five times a week.
You can also take your workout outdoors to avoid gym germs. Despite common misconceptions about staying indoors to avoid a cold, you are much more likely to pick up an illness from someone at the gym than the outdoors. Just be sure to dress appropriately and focus on your warmup.
3. You Will Stay Much Happier
Winter can be a time of susceptibility to the “winter blues.” However, oftentimes the sadness associated with cold weather might be due to a disruption of normal routine.
Scheduling in a daily workout, even if you’re on a holiday or visiting family, can help keep structure in your day to prevent negative feelings.
Plus, exercise and getting outside can improve mood by helping your body produce more feel-good endorphins (5).
4. Enjoy The Benefits Of Exercising Out In The Cold
By exercising in slightly colder temperatures than what your body is accustomed to, your heart works harder to distribute blood flow throughout the body to keep it warm.
Incorporating cold-weather workouts can strengthen your heart, and in turn, improve your endurance (6). You might also burn extra calories because your body is working harder to keep you warm.
Don’t be afraid to try out some training workouts throughout the winter.
To your weight loss success,
Content Adapted from Isagenix Health Site
- Santos I, Vierira PN, Silva MN, Sardinha LB, and Teixeira PJ. Weight control behaviors of highly successful weight loss maintainers: the Portuguese Weight Control Registry. J Behav Med. 2017 Apr; 40(2): 366-71. doi: 1007/s10865-016-9786-y.
- Gleeson M. Immune function in sport and exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2007 Aug; 103: 693-699. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00008.2007.
- Nieman DC. Moderate exercise improves immunity and decreases illness rates. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2011 Apr 28; 5(4): 338-345. doi: 10.1177/1559827610392876.
- Matthews CE, Ockene IS, Freedson PS, Rosal MC, Merriam PA, and Hebert JR. Moderate to vigorous physical activity and risk of upper-respiratory tract infection. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Aug; 34(8): 1242-8.
- Melrose S. Seasonal Affective Disorder: An Overview of Assessment and Treatment Approaches. Depress Res Treat. 2015;2015:178564. doi: 10.1155/2015/178564. Epub 2015 Nov 25.
- Hessemer V, Langusch D, Brück LK, Bödeker RH, Breidenbach T. Effect of slightly lowered body temperatures on endurance performance in humans. J Appl Physiol Respir Environ Exerc Physiol. 1984 Dec;57(6):1731-7.