Winters can make you lazy and the least you’d want to do is move around or exercise. You are so comfortable keeping yourself warm and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate that running is not something you’d ever think about. However, don’t let these cold winter days keep you from staying physically fit.
Running is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself physically and mentally fit. Running in the cold weather can benefit your health. Here’s why you should consider running during the winters.
Benefits Of Running In Cold Weather
If the winter season is your excuse to stop exercising and be lazy, you’d want to think again. Here are some of the benefits of running in cold weather that may change your winter fitness routine.
1. You Will Feel Less Cold
You’d probably think that winter days are just not for you because of how the cold air can cause your body to freeze. But, this isn’t true. Running in cold weather can help you cover more distance without much stress because there is less heat stress on the body than you would experience during the summers.
There is a study indicating that marathon runners can perform better in lower temperatures than in warm weather conditions.1
2. You Can Stay Fit
If you are not sticking to your usual fitness routine during the winter, chances of gaining all that fat you lost are very high. Going to the gym becomes a struggle and exercising at home gets boring after a while. That’s why running can help you avoid this unnecessary weight gain. As long as your body is kept warm, there is nothing stopping you from going for a late morning or evening run.
3. It Helps You Beat The Winter Blues
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a depressive disorder in which the person’s depressive moods are connected to a specific season. The symptoms of this disorder are most often experienced during the winters. This is because you are not exposed to enough sunlight which causes your serotonin (the feel good hormone) levels to dip.2 Therefore, running can expose you to more sunlight and can also help you lift your mood if you are feeling depressive.
4. It May Boost Your Metabolism
Your body has two kinds of fat – white fat and brown fat. White fats store the extra energy and too much of white means that you are at risk of being overweight or obese. Brown fat, on the other hand, burns energy to maintain heat and helps maintain body temperature. Results of certain studies have shown that exposure to cold temperatures can increase the fat metabolic activity.3
This means that exposing yourself to the cold winters can increase your metabolism rates. Running can help increase your metabolism and help you manage your weight.
Now that you know the benefits of running in cold weather, here are some tips on what you can wear for your winter run.
What You Can Wear For Your Winter Run
- For your winter run, consider wearing layers of clothing to keep you warm.
- You can choose a synthetic fabric as your first layer or base layer. This will draw the sweat away from your skin.
- For your second layer or mid layer, you can use fleece. This keeps you warm and can absorb any moisture from the first layer.
- For the third and last layer (outer layer), you can use a water-resistant jacket to get rid of the moisture and protect you from the wind and rain.
- Avoid running in cotton clothes as these can absorb moisture and can make you feel cold.
- A pair of legging or running tights under shorts or track pants can keep your legs warm.
- A pair of gloves and a woolen headband can keep your hands and head warm, respectively.
- Avoid wearing dark colors as it is difficult to spot you in the dark winters. Try wearing light, bright colors like white or fluorescent green.
So, benefit yourself this winter by going for a morning run. If you’re not motivated to go by yourself, convince your friend to come along and stay happy and fit even during the winter season.
|↑1||Ely, Matthew R., Samuel N. Cheuvront, William O. Roberts, and Scott J. Montain. “Impact of weather on marathon-running performance.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 39, no. 3 (2007): 487-493.|
|↑2||Young, Simon N. “How to increase serotonin in the human brain without drugs.” Journal of psychiatry & neuroscience: JPN 32, no. 6 (2007): 394.|
|↑3||Cool Temperature Alters Human Fat and Metabolism. National Institutes of Health.|