For those of you who have worked out in the cold, maybe you love it and maybe you don’t, or maybe you are undecided and would like to learn more about really what happens when you work out in the cold before you decide if it is a good idea or not. For those that have worked out in the cold, you are very familiar with the sensations that differ from working out when it is warmer out. The cold air coming in through your mouth and nose and into your lungs can feel harsher and sometimes downright painful. The feelings can make you question whether you should keep working out or not is such harsh feeling elements. There are a few different ways you can prep your body for working out in cold temperature while also being a little surprised as to what working out outside can do to the body.
First and foremost, if you are going to workout outside it is good to prepare correctly ahead of time. You will want to make sure you wear warmer breathable layers and please do not wear cotton. It only pulls the sweat from your body and then just leaves you with wet clothing on your skin. Dress warm enough so that you don’t get sick and that none of your body parts get numb, we would like you to be sick free when this is all said and done. As soon as you are done working, make sure you get inside as soon as possible and out of your workout clothes. If you are going to be outside for a longer period of time after working out, then bring along more layers to warm yourself up with. The key is to stay warm but not get overheated when working out outside.
Once you are dressed, you will want to make sure you warm up properly. Well, you should be warming up before you exercise regardless of temperatures, so we hope this one is a no-brainer. According to Men’s Fitness, in cold temperatures, your body can regulate its own temperature a bit better. This could mean that you can exercise farther or for a longer period of time, which would mean also that you could burn more calories.
According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, the cold weather encourages the body to transform everyday white fat, specifically the fat around the belly and thighs, into the calorie burning beige fat. Due to the body insulating itself in the winter you could have a slightly higher calorie burn.
All in all, working out in the cold may not be so bad, as long as you prepare properly ahead of time.
Who likes working out in the cold as opposed to warmer weather?