4 Benefits of Exercising in Colder Months

Maintaining a regular workout routine can feel like a chore and as the cold weather starts to set in, that drive to keep pushing and improving can understandably start to wane whether you’re a confirmed couch potato or even a stringent fitness enthusiast. Finding the motivation to move when it’s dropping to single digits outside can seem almost impossible but once you’ve started working out regularly, taking even a few weeks off can ruin all the progress you’ve made.Thankfully, exercising during the winter months has several benefits that should help you overcome that initial hurdle. Indeed, with little else to do, winter could even be the ideal time to explore some unique cycling holidays either abroad or domestically, and kickstart your fitness journey!Types of winter exercisesFinding the perfect workout routine for you is important – it has to work for your lifestyle needs and your end goal. Not all fitness goals are the same and so, not all routines are. What might work for your partner, your best friend or neighbour may not work for you.Aerobic Exercises in WinterAerobic routines are repetitive and prolonged activities that keep your heart beating faster, such as walking, hiking, cycling, and swimming. In the cooler temperatures of winter, these activities can be more enjoyable, reducing the risk of overheating and making endurance training more comfortable.Strength Training in Colder MonthsStrength exercises can be gained through either using your body weight and doing routines at home, such as planks and push-ups, or using equipment to push your body, making your muscles work against a force to build up resistance. During winter, indoor strength training is crucial for maintaining muscle mass when outdoor activities are limited.FlexibilityFlexibility works hand in hand with joint mobility training, allowing your body to move freely without restrictions. Introducing routines like yoga or stretching, particularly in the morning or before sleep, can help maintain the health of your bones and is especially beneficial in winter to combat the stiffness brought on by the cold.Balance exercisesFlexibility works hand in hand with joint mobility training, allowing your body to move freely without restrictions. Introducing routines like yoga or stretching, particularly in the morning or before sleep, can help maintain the health of your bones and is especially beneficial in winter to combat the stiffness brought on by the cold.Benefits of winter exerciseImproves Your MoodExercise is known to release endorphins, which relieve pain, reduce stress, and generally make us feel good. During the winter months, this is even more important, as thousands of people in the UK alone suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which sets in when the clocks go back and we see less natural light.Helps You SleepConsistent exercise can also help regulate sleep patterns as when your body is accustomed to a routine that includes more strenuous physical activity, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restful REM sleep.As you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you may also find that it naturally becomes more enjoyable and starts to feel like less of a chore. Half the battle of any exercise journey is finding a routine that you enjoy and the better you sleep, the more likely you’re going to find exercise genuinely pleasurable.Boosts Your Immune SystemIf you want to boost your endurance, exercising in colder weather can help your body work more efficiently, allowing you to push yourself further during workouts even in the warmer months.It also has a significant positive impact on your heart, because if your body is working harder to maintain its core temperature, you’ll not only be burning more calories but will also be improving your circulation.This could catalyse a long-term boost in cardiovascular fitness, making your heart beat stronger and your lungs breathe deeper. Burns More CaloriesIn colder weather, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to keep cool so you can burn calories more efficiently during workouts. Exposure to cold temperatures also encourages the activation of brown fat, which burns calories to generate heat, so you’ll be doing less to burn more. Isn’t that the dream?However, while the cold months shouldn’t hold you back, it’s worth mentioning that, during winter, your body is going to need more fuel to keep it working at optimum levels.While exercise is essential, a well-balanced diet is equally important for a strong immune system. Proper nutrition provides your body with the necessary nutrients to support your overall health. Consider incorporating foods that boost your immune system, such as citrus fruits, peppers, and yogurts.Final thoughtsAlthough keeping fit and maintaining such a routine in the winter months is important, safety can also be a concern when it comes to temperature and visibility. Before going outside, be sure to review the weather conditions and dress

4 Benefits of Exercising in Colder Months

Maintaining a regular workout routine can feel like a chore and as the cold weather starts to set in, that drive to keep pushing and improving can understandably start to wane whether you’re a confirmed couch potato or even a stringent fitness enthusiast. Finding the motivation to move when it’s dropping to single digits outside can seem almost impossible but once you’ve started working out regularly, taking even a few weeks off can ruin all the progress you’ve made.

Thankfully, exercising during the winter months has several benefits that should help you overcome that initial hurdle. Indeed, with little else to do, winter could even be the ideal time to explore some unique cycling holidays either abroad or domestically, and kickstart your fitness journey!

Types of winter exercises

Finding the perfect workout routine for you is important – it has to work for your lifestyle needs and your end goal. Not all fitness goals are the same and so, not all routines are. What might work for your partner, your best friend or neighbour may not work for you.

Aerobic Exercises in Winter

Aerobic routines are repetitive and prolonged activities that keep your heart beating faster, such as walking, hiking, cycling, and swimming. In the cooler temperatures of winter, these activities can be more enjoyable, reducing the risk of overheating and making endurance training more comfortable.

Strength Training in Colder Months

Strength exercises can be gained through either using your body weight and doing routines at home, such as planks and push-ups, or using equipment to push your body, making your muscles work against a force to build up resistance. During winter, indoor strength training is crucial for maintaining muscle mass when outdoor activities are limited.

Flexibility

Flexibility works hand in hand with joint mobility training, allowing your body to move freely without restrictions. Introducing routines like yoga or stretching, particularly in the morning or before sleep, can help maintain the health of your bones and is especially beneficial in winter to combat the stiffness brought on by the cold.

Balance exercises

Flexibility works hand in hand with joint mobility training, allowing your body to move freely without restrictions. Introducing routines like yoga or stretching, particularly in the morning or before sleep, can help maintain the health of your bones and is especially beneficial in winter to combat the stiffness brought on by the cold.

Benefits of winter exercise

Improves Your Mood

Exercise is known to release endorphins, which relieve pain, reduce stress, and generally make us feel good. During the winter months, this is even more important, as thousands of people in the UK alone suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which sets in when the clocks go back and we see less natural light.

Helps You Sleep

Consistent exercise can also help regulate sleep patterns as when your body is accustomed to a routine that includes more strenuous physical activity, you’re more likely to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restful REM sleep.

As you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, you may also find that it naturally becomes more enjoyable and starts to feel like less of a chore. Half the battle of any exercise journey is finding a routine that you enjoy and the better you sleep, the more likely you’re going to find exercise genuinely pleasurable.

Boosts Your Immune System

If you want to boost your endurance, exercising in colder weather can help your body work more efficiently, allowing you to push yourself further during workouts even in the warmer months.

It also has a significant positive impact on your heart, because if your body is working harder to maintain its core temperature, you’ll not only be burning more calories but will also be improving your circulation.

This could catalyse a long-term boost in cardiovascular fitness, making your heart beat stronger and your lungs breathe deeper. 

Burns More Calories

In colder weather, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to keep cool so you can burn calories more efficiently during workouts. Exposure to cold temperatures also encourages the activation of brown fat, which burns calories to generate heat, so you’ll be doing less to burn more. Isn’t that the dream?

However, while the cold months shouldn’t hold you back, it’s worth mentioning that, during winter, your body is going to need more fuel to keep it working at optimum levels.

While exercise is essential, a well-balanced diet is equally important for a strong immune system. Proper nutrition provides your body with the necessary nutrients to support your overall health. Consider incorporating foods that boost your immune system, such as citrus fruits, peppers, and yogurts.

Final thoughts

Although keeping fit and maintaining such a routine in the winter months is important, safety can also be a concern when it comes to temperature and visibility. Before going outside, be sure to review the weather conditions and dress appropriately protecting your hands, ears, and feet. Ensuring that you are visible towards cars and others outside as with the winter months, comes less daylight hours. 

Alternatively, skipping your workout is okay. It’s a good idea to have an at-home workout planned for you for these just-in-case moments if you prefer to be outdoors.