I don’t know about you, but I definitely need more reasons to exercise in winter. It doesn’t matter how good I’ve been at sticking to my regime, as soon as the temperatures drop and it becomes icy and wet, I crave my house. It doesn’t feel like it’ll be too bad to be a fair weather exerciser, until you remember all that stodgy comfort food…so I’ve been researching the best reasons to exercise in winter, to motivate myself. Here they are:
1. You’ll save Money
Yep, one of the best reasons to exercise in winter is that you’ll save on your heating bills. The cold weather might give you a shock to start with, but exercise will get your blood pumping, and you’ll keep producing body heat long after you’ve stopped working out. So whether it’s adding to your savings or investing in gingerbread lattes or Christmas presents, you’ll have some spare pennies from the heating to splurge instead.
2. It Can Be Quite Pleasant
The ONLY good thing about running when it’s chilly is that you won’t come back resembling a sweating tomato. You have to put a lot of effort in to work up a sweat when the temperature drops! Which means you stay more comfortable, as well as more presentable, and you still get a great workout. Remember that when you’re trying to run through the searing heat next Summer.
3. There’s Foody Holidays
Nobody ever had a Thanksgiving without a feast, and then there is Christmas…and that’s without considering the extra pasta, gravy and pies that you’ll crave when it gets colder. Yep, the chilly weather will have you reaching for the carbs, so you really need to stay active if you don’t want to accumulate winter blubber ;)
4. You Earn More
When you’re cold, your body naturally burns more calories trying to heat up. So when you’re cold and exercising, you’re burning far more calories than you would be sitting in the warm on your couch. Unfortunately, being cold alone isn’t a massive increase – stripping off and standing outside won’t replace exercise, however much you want it to - but it’s motivating to know that you can make every single cold weather run count.
5. You’ll Skip That Cold
When everyone else in the office is reaching for the tissues and bemoaning not being able to taste anything, you’ll be the pinnacle of health. Why? The UK National Health Service has found that exercising boosts your immune system, which improves your defences against stomach bugs, colds and other viruses. Just think of the saving on Lemsip and Sudafed.
6. It’ll Make You Happier
If you stop exercising when the days get darker, your mood will drop. Exercise releases endorphins which boost your mood, which is why it’s often recommended to people suffering from depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s easy to feel your mood slip as it gets colder and darker, especially if you’re out of the house at work all day and barely see the sunlight. Exercising will keep your mood boosted.
7. It’ll Wake You up
One of the top reasons to exercise in winter has to be that it keeps you feeling energetic. It’s far too easy to feel sluggish and rubbish, and struggle to get off the sofa. If you want energy, though, you have to burn some. People who exercise through the winter avoid the dramatic drop in energy that more sedentary people struggle through.
These reasons to exercise in winter are currently keeping me from putting my sports kit at the back of the closet, and I’m determined to keep it that way! If worst comes to worst, I’ll workout to a DVD on the worst days to avoid the chill. What are your top reasons to exercise in winter?