In an article I read on Divine Caroline by Allison Ford, she talks about heating up your workout in the cold outdoors. We all seem to slow down a bit during winter, due to the weather outside or the activities that keep us occupied. Allison has some helpful tips to help you when you are out there in the cold working out.
- Exercising is an especially good idea during wintertime because people so often feel heavy and sluggish during that season. Our bodies have evolved to respond to cold weather by becoming hungry; burning fuel creates heat, which warms us up. Studies have shown that people who get regular exercise in the winter experience 20 to 30 percent fewer colds than nonexercisers.
- One of the biggest exercise myths is that those dedicated folks who work out in the cold are burning more calories than those of us who prefer to keep our workouts indoors. About 75 percent of the energy we produce during exercise is lost to heat, and in the winter, our bodies use that heat to keep us warm. Those who do winter sports that require heavy equipment might burn some extra calories lugging their skis, helmets, showshoes, skates, or boots, but the caloric difference between cold and warm weather is negligible for people who are simply jogging, walking, or hiking.
- Cold weather dampens our thirst, so be sure to keep drinking plenty of water. Even if we’re not sweating as much as in the summer, we still lose moisture through exhalation.
- Also, winter is no excuse not to wear sunscreen.
- Of course, a good warm-up and cooldown are even more important during the winter, to be sure your muscles stay warm and pliant.
- Begin your exercise by heading into the wind. On your return, you’ll be bolstered by the wind at your back and less likely to experience wind chill if you’re sweaty.
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