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Exercising Throughout the Winter Cold Why you should make the most of it

Although the cold weather has arrived, there are some important reasons why you should exercise and achieve those health goals!



Reason number 1 - Winter is a great time to increase your aerobic fitness!


Extremely hot temperatures in summer are a big limiting factor of exercising. Going for an outdoor run in these hot temperatures will most likely do more harm than good, leaving you fatigued, dehydrated and possibly very sunburnt for the rest of day. 


In contrast, evidence suggests that cooler temperatures have a positive effect on endurance exercise. Research has shown that getting to an exhausted state during exercise is longest at 10.5 degrees celsius with exercise duration being at its shortest at 30.5 degrees celsius. 


Although endurance exercise is much harder to complete in the hot summer months, it is evident that a higher level of aerobic fitness is one of the most efficient ways to decrease fatigue.


If your goal is to improve your aerobic fitness, consider starting in the winter months so you are in a good position to continue endurance training in the warmer months.



Reason number 2 - Winter is a great time to create good and effective healthy habits!


This one is particularly good for those who struggle with consistency. Consistency needs to be practiced over and over again if you want to develop the skill.


As soon as those cooler mornings come around, exercise participant numbers start to decrease which has always been the case. Giving in to comfort during the cold winter months makes you a pro at taking the easy way out, impacting your ability to build good habits further down the track. Neurobiologist and Stanford Professor Andrew Huberman suggests “leaning into discomfort/stress” to improve your tolerance.


Waking up early on a frosty winter’s morning to exercise isn’t easy but you will start to increase your tolerance to those more difficult and challenging circumstances. As winter ends and morning temperatures become more tolerable, you will most likely find it less difficult to maintain your already great exercise habits!


References

  1. Alhadad, S. B., Tan, P. M. S., & Lee, J. K. W. (2019). Efficacy of Heat Mitigation Strategies on Core Temperature and Endurance Exercise: A Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Physiology, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00071

  1. GALLOWAY, S. D. R., & MAUGHAN, R. J. (1997). Effects of ambient temperature on the capacity to perform prolonged cycle exercise in man. Medicine &Amp Science in Sports &Amp Exercise, 29(9), 1240–1249. https://doi.org/10.1097/00005768-199709000-00018

  1. Right, E. (2022c, May 25). Two reasons to make the most of exercising this winter. Exercise Right. https://exerciseright.com.au/two-reasons-to-make-the-most-of-exercising-this-winter/