Winter Outdoor Exercise: It’s official—as of December 21st, winter has begun. The days are short and the nights are cold, which has led most people to curl up next to a fire. While the cold weather alone is enough to dissuade someone from stepping outside, the thought of exercising in the wintry outdoors seems ridiculous.
But before you go into full hibernation mode, consider these health benefits of exercising outdoors this winter:
Winter Outdoor Exercise- Benefit #1: Burn More Calories
Body mass is just one of the factors that impacts how effectively our bodies burn calories. However, everyone can burn a few more calories by taking their exercise outside during the winter months. The cold weather causes our bodies to work harder in an effort to maintain our core temperatures, which ultimately burns more calories. While the cold weather alone won’t help you burn hundreds of calories, it is a nice perk that comes as a result of simply exercising outdoors. Plus, the beautiful snow covered scenery beats staring at a television in a gym.
Winter Outdoor Exercise- Benefit #2: Vitamin D
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that is brought on by the lack of light in the wintertime. People choose to stay inside to avoid the cold during the winter, which limits their exposure to sunlight. While the sun may seem less effective during the wintertime, it actually offers the same amount of nutrients as it does during the summer. The days are significantly shorter during the winter so it’s important you get as much sunlight as possible to get your daily dose of Vitamin D. However, be sure to wear sunscreen as the sun’s powerful rays can be damaging to your skin.
Winter Outdoor Exercise- Benefit 3: Boost Your Mood
One might argue that being outside in the frigid weather puts a damper on their day. However, science begs to differ. As our bodies work to maintain our core temperature, endorphin production increases, which ultimately leaves us feeling happier. The lack of humidity and stimulating characteristic of the cold can also boost your mood and help you be more alert.
To learning more about how you may benefit from exercising outdoors this winter, check out The Huffington Post’s 7 Big Benefits Of Exercising Outside This Winter.