Is Winter The Perfect Time to Work Out?
Living in the UK, winter is cold, wet and windy. As such more often than not the last thing you want to do is head outside for a workout. However, if you can muster the strength to get out and embrace the elements, there are loads of psychological and physiological benefits to be had.
According to research conducted by sport and comic relief trainer Greg Whyte “The optimum temperature for endurance-based exercise is 11 degrees Celsius, we might not like being cold, but the irony is, the colder the weather, the better and easier it is for us to exercise. When we’re cold, we create heat through muscular contraction, which includes shivering thermogenesis, which can lead to a ten-fold increase in energy expenditure. This means, the shiver you have when you get cold is actually increasing energy expenditure and thus you burn more calories.”
Aside from the physiological benefits, there’s the psychological aspects. The enjoyment you get from the endorphin release when you exercise. But at the heart of it, the key to training outdoors is preparation. There’s a saying amongst my die hard exercising friends and colleagues, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just a slightly wet/cold/snowy/delete as applicable, weather.”
During exercise we expel heat, either through our mouths or skin. So, when the weather is a little less inviting make sure you put on the right kit, think coldgear, gloves, snood, even a hat, especially wicking fabrics to keep the moisture away from your body.
It’s not rocket science, but what it does mean is you no longer have any excuses not to get out when the weather isn’t so friendly. Prepare, prepare and prepare some more and you’ll be burning more calories than you do in the summer.
Give it a try and let us know if you think winter is the perfect time to work out?
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