Winter Won't Stop Us*

Thursday, 30 May 2019, By Scott Mathers

The temperature has finally dropped outside, and a lot of us feel like hibernating and waiting it out till sunny and warmer days return. Our training usually takes a back seat but if you decide to brave the cold and leave the doona behind you will soon find exercising in cold weather can bring plenty of benefits to not just your body but your mind too.


It'll give you a great cardiovascular workout


Cold weather forces your body to work harder when training, and this also applies to your cardiovascular system. The heart also works harder to pump blood around the body during cold weather exercise, this invigorating workout helps to keep your heart health in optimal shape. As cardiovascular disease continues to be a major health threat in this country, anything that strengthens your heart is a no-brainer. 


Help Fight off the Dreaded Cold or Flu


Winter can often be a time when bugs and viruses become common place and do the rounds, only a few escape without being hit by the common cold or flu. Doing exercise will not only help you fight off any symptoms of a cold or flu but reduce the likelihood of you even being affected. Exercise makes your immune system work harder and therefore it is more prepared to fight off those nasty germs and their symptoms.

It will improve your mood


The winter blues or professionally known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is when you feel down and your mood is off. This happens due to shorter days and your body/mind not getting enough light and endorphins. The good news is that exercise can boost your mood at any time of year, but it has a particularly profound effect during winter. Training gets those feel-good hormones soaring, and can really help keep the winter blues at bay.


You'll burn more calories


A cold weather workout is a supercharged version of your normal sweat session because whatever workout you do, the cold weather will max out your caloric burn. This is a result of the body working much harder to keep its core temperature regulated. As the body works to stay warm, the metabolism is kicked into overdrive and your body burns through more calories and fat.


Studies have shown that being outside in cold weather can transform white fat, specifically belly and thigh fat, into calorie-burning beige or brown fat. Brown fats' purpose is to burn calories to generate heat. Brown fat is often referred to as the "good" fat because it helps to burn rather than store calories. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism,  showed people have more genetic markers for brown fat in the winter than during the warmer months. This could signal slightly more calorie burn in the winter as the body insulates itself.


So, when the excuse to skip training creeps into your brain, think about the opportunities you would be missing to have a top session at Vision PT Neutral Bay with all these outcomes plus we are pretty lucky that we don't have to run through snow.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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