Think twice before you hibernate from exercising outdoors during winter's cold-weather months.
When winter comes, you might think you'll have to limit your exercise routine to your living room or the gym. The truth is, however, working out outside during cold weather can result in health benefits not seen at any other time throughout the year.
First, cold weather exercise outdoors during winter months can give you extra exposure to the sun. With the reduced amount of natural light available during the winter, the added Vitamin D the sun provides can help keep your bones strong, ward off depression, burn fat, aid digestive issues, and even help prevent high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Cold-weather workouts also burn more calories than warm-weather ones. In addition to the calories that you typically burn from exercise, your body has to work harder during the winter to regulate its core temperature, which results in more overall calories being burned.
Also, if you already exercise regularly, working out during the winter can make your heart stronger. The heart has to work harder to pump blood during cold weather, and winter workouts are a great way of building up your heart muscle so you can handle harder workouts in the future, as well as the stresses of everyday life. (If you don't already exercise regularly, cold-weather workouts can actually harm your heart. Check with your doctor before starting any outdoor exercise routine.)
Lastly, not only can the increased exposure to sunlight boost your mood, but so can winter's lack of humidity and cooler temperatures. The lack of humidity makes the air feel lighter than it does in the spring or summer, which can make you feel better before, during, and after your workout. Also, not only can colder temperatures be stimulating, but your body produces higher levels of endorphins as it tries to keep warm during cold-weather exercise, which can also make you feel happier and bouncier.
While winter workouts can carry extra health benefits, be sure to exercise some caution to ensure that your winter exercise routine doesn't compromise your health.
Here a few tips:
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