The benefits of staying active in cold weather
On a cold, dark winter’s day, even getting out of bed before the central heating has come on can feel like a huge effort. Many people start to cut back on activities outside, and your normal exercise routine can be the first to be dropped in favour of a nice warm spot on the sofa as the weather takes a turn for the worse. Remaining active throughout the year is an important part of maintaining your overall health and fitness. Not convinced? We’ve put together a few key facts for you.
Here comes the sun
Sunshine isn’t just for the summer. The winter months can see us retreating inside but this strategy robs us of one of the great free benefits of getting outside: sunshine! Your need for exposure to the sun during the winter is a key part of both your physical and even your emotional health. First off, it’s well established in human biology that exposing your skin to sunlight naturally produces Vitamin D – something which is essential to maintaining healthy bones. Just 15 minutes of winter sun is enough to satisfy your body’s needs.
Fight the winter blues
Psychologists have long agreed that enjoying some time outdoors is a positive mood enhancer thanks to the lack of humidity and stimulating aspect of the chill, helping to fight the winter blues. As the body works harder to stay warm, the number of endorphins produced also increases, leaving you with a stronger sense of happiness and lightness following a workout in the cold.
Stay active and avoid the bugs!
In 2010 American researchers published the result of a scientific study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which proved that exercise improves our body’s immune system. This means that far from giving you a cold, keeping active outside in the winter can help you avoid those legions of bugs and diseases! You don’t need to be running marathons, a simple daily walk or leisurely jog can leave you feeling more energised and better protected against those seasonal coughs and colds.
Banish the winter season wobbles
Let’s face it: the winter months can see your body crying out for hearty, calorific food so exercise is essential for burning off excess fat – and while we recommend that you dress appropriately for cold weather, it’s a fact that shivering actively burns more calories!
From helping your body produce Vitamin D to fighting the blues, staying active during the winter months is a great way to improve your well-being.