Cold Weather Exercise
Don’t let cold weather prevent you from your fitness goals! Exercise during cold winter months can have great benefits when done safely.
Sunlight fights SAD – Sunshine has been proven to positively impact mental health by increasing serotonin levels and providing a good source of Vitamin D. During cold winter months, people spend less time outdoors, therefore decreasing exposure to sunlight and nature in general.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder associated with winter months that typically presents as depression. Studies have suggested that winter weather contributes to the development of SAD. While sunshine and exercise may not cure SAD, studies have recommended that both may help alleviate some symptoms.
Improve endurance – Hot summer weather limits the amount of time one can exercise safely outside without risking overheating. Winter is the perfect time to work on increasing endurance because the human body is able to function longer in cooler temperatures than very hot temperatures. A 30-minute run in 80-degree weather will feel very different from a 30-minute run in 40-degree weather, and you might find yourself ready to run a little longer when it’s cooler. Make sure not to skip your warmup – cold weather can put you at risk of injury if your body is not warmed up properly before heading out.
Be mindful – There are risks to exercising outdoors in cold weather. Dry winter air can aggravate respiratory tracts, particularly among people with preexisting conditions such as asthma. If temperatures are low enough, frostbite could affect exposed skin or hypothermia could develop. Icy road conditions could cause runners or walkers to slip and fall.
Dress appropriately for cold weather in insulated, sweat-wicking layers to prevent getting too cold or too hot. Cover your head and extremities.
Staying in? – Cold weather isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get active this winter. Stop using your home workout equipment as a clothing rack and try an at-home workout. Joining a gym is another option for those who do not wish to exercise outside. The average American adult gains 1-2 pounds during the holiday season, which over the course of a lifetime can add up. Keeping active during the holiday season will help combat holiday weight gain.
Start preparing for The Bridge’s first triathlon! The Weather the Storm Triathlon will take place in August 2024. There will be individual and relay options, as well as multiple distances for kids and adults. More information will be released in the coming months on Facebook.