Winter is Coming: Why You Brace the Cold and Exercise Outdoors

By December 29, 2016Motivation

Yes winter is coming. It is often said that this is ” The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, why not make it the most wonderful time of the year to exercise? It might sound crazy, but recent research has proven so.

You might live up north where it snows more than it doesn’t, or you could be in the deep south asking yourself, “what is even snow?” Or if you’re like me, you could just honestly be dreading the cold weather all together.

The Facts

Fitness experts and researchers are saying that working out outdoors during the winter can offer benefits that one might not be aware of. It might not seem like the sun is shining during the winter months, but it is. Exposing yourself to some good ol’ vitamin D may help you fend off those winter blues.

“Going for a walk in the park after a fresh snowfall is one of the most exhilarating, stress-reducing things I can think of,” says Wotjek Jan Chodzko-Zajko, head of the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (go Illini!). He  runs to and from work everyday no matter the season. The study does have the claim saying “if it is bitterly cold stay inside”, but that should be common sense.

The Tips

There are four easy tips to keep in mind when your are going to work out in the winter months.

1. Dress the Part– one word: LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS. Having your hands, feet and head covered up is important too because a majority of your body heat escapes there.

2. Warm up Inside– Its always important to warm up before working up, but in the winter months, warming up inside will be a lot more comfortable and overall better for your body.

3. Beware of the Sun– Often over looked, use sunscreen. If the sun is bright or reflecting off the snow wear some sunglasses.

 

4. Drink Up- People tend to think they are less thirsty in the colder months, despite the fact that we actually need to drink more. Our bodies in the winter receive less moisture than in the warmer months. Another reason is we don’t sweat as much- that doesn’t mean we aren’t losing water.

Now that you have the information you need, don’t be afraid to get out there, exercise, and enjoy these wonderful winter months because in the blink of an eye its going to be summer…not that I’m complaining.

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Author Jessica Cox

Jessica is a Senior at Mississippi State University, major in Kinesiology with a concentration in Clinical Exercise Physiology. She is a dancer but you can know mostly see her in a Crossfit gym instead of a studio and holding a barbell instead of a barre. You will hear her talking about food or cooking it. You can check her out at @jessikate_94.

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