As the fall and winter months approach, many people put their exercise routines on the backburner.
Of course, all of the pumpkin pies, turkey, stuffing, family gatherings, holiday parties, cookies at the office break table, and those awful holiday blues subconsciously also encourage us to indulge more and workout less.
However, there are an overwhelming number of health benefits to keeping up with your morning exercise routine as the temperatures dip.
Here are some other important reasons why you should be working out outside during the winter.
When you drink very cold water on a hot day, your body works harder to regulate the temperature.
The reverse is true when it comes to being out in the frigid temperatures. Your body has to work harder to keep you warm throughout the duration of your outdoor workout.
This results in a higher calorie burn for less effort.
While the number of calories you burn overall will depend on your body and muscle mass, your weight, height, genetics, and the temperature extremity, you can expect to burn up to a third more calories overall.
In addition to the heart-pumping benefits of a good workout, cold weather has been scientifically proven to make the heart work harder and faster to pump blood through the body.
If you are in good health and shape and are accustomed to regular cardiovascular training or workouts, cold-weather sessions can actually make your heart even stronger.
If you have not worked out in a long time or are out of shape, you may want to check with a doctor to see if these heart-pumping, cold-weather sessions may put too much strain on your heart muscle.
The human body needs vitamin D all year. Since vitamin D is primarily derived from sun exposure, it makes sense that many people become deficient in the winter months.
You will get your daily dose of vitamin D during your outdoor winter fitness routine with at least 15 minutes of exposure.
Many guys will make the excuse that all that sweating under all of those layers of clothes will lead to hypothermia, muscle cramping, and charley horses, but the truth is that workout gear with moisture-wicking properties actually regulates your body temperature in frigid climates.
Aside from the slight possibility that you may slip on some ice, there are actually few other hazards associated with outdoor winter exercise.
Here’s a great list of supplements to take to help you build muscle while working out. Working out in the cold will help you bulk up, and be fit and ready for next spring!
Featured image credit: RightFit Personal Training