Winter obviously brings lots of gloom when it comes barging into our lives. The last thing anyone wants to do is just go hang out in the cold, damp, usually dark out of doors. But did you know that there are numerous benefits to running outside in the cold? Before you head to the gym to take to a treadmill, check out these awesome effects! So, lace up those sneakers, layer on some gear and get trekking!
Anyone can go run when it’s a lovely 0°C outside. It takes dedication and determination to run when it’s -20.
Webster defines endurance as “the ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity.” Pushing yourself when it’s so cold out is both a mental and a physical game. When your lungs are burning and your legs are frozen, the last thing you want to do is keep running.
Keep running anyway.
Remind yourself that pushing through this challenge will help you kill your personal records when the warmth comes sweeping in once again.
Built In Strength Training
Ice and snow and blizzards, oh my. There’s a reason most people try to avoid these things. Hello, death trap. But keeping yourself not only upright, but plowing forward, while not breaking any bones requires a great deal of muscle coordination. Plus, for every time you fall, you could do some pushups before making yourself get back up.
Eat All the Carbs
Okay, so maybe that headline was misleading, but cold = shivering = muscle work = fat burn. Basically, running outside forces your body to work harder and burn more calories just to keep you alive. Obviously the actual calorie deficit differs from person to person and temp to temp, but even a little extra boost should make you smile.
Tone That Heart
That equation up above? It goes for your heart, too. A regular exerciser with the cardiovascular endurance to withstand this type of workout will reap even more benefits. Since you’re putting your body and heart through a bit of stress, you’ll be all-around better equipped to handle everyday stress even better.
Vitamin D, Baby
Missing all that sunshine during the dark days of winter definitely takes its toll on your entire body. You’re more sluggish, prone to body aches and muscle weakness, and a host of other ill effects. Hit a trail a few days a week, allow that sun to shine on your winter-white skin and enjoy the vitamin D boost!
If running inside still seems preferable, then, I mean, less spaghetti for you 😉