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6 reasons why it’s more important to exercise in winter
It feels like Winter is already here! It’s starting to get cold and when it’s cold it’s really hard to stay motivated about your health and fitness!
We tend to take on a “Snuggle up” mentality, we eat more, and we do less – human hibernation! But we are not bears, we don’t need layers and layers of fat. And for this reason, whilst our overindulgence feels good it also feeds negativity, too much chocolate, too many roast potatoes… the need for a baggier top, the avoidance of the mirror it can be a 12-week spiral and then we hate our spring bodies!
Winter brings the cold, illness, the blues and isolation.
So, here’s a thought…
Exercise in winter can provide more benefit than exercise during the rest of the year, because it specifically answers our winter body needs.
Here are the top 6 reasons to keep exercising when the temperature drops.
- THE SUN IS MORE OF A FRIEND THAN YOUR HEATER (no matter how little sun there is)
There’s a reason it’s called the sunshine vitamin. While there are a limited number of foods that can provide your body with vitamin D, the easiest source is from exposure of bare skin to sunlight.
During summer a short exposure of 10-15 minutes is plenty, but in winter, sunshine can be harder to come by, especially if you are snuggled up indoors. So that’s why it’s VERY important to get outside and get moving and smile at the sun!
Sunshine makes strong bones and keeps your immune system strong. It can also boost positivity, help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
- KEEP WARM (by keeping active)
Save electricity and an expanding waistline by heating your body up naturally with a workout. The rise in your body temperature, during a workout, has a soothing, calming effect on your body, not unlike a long soak in a warm bath or lying in front of the heater.
Yes, its cold when you first step outside, but if you layer up and get moving you will be hot within no time at all!
- STAY HEALTHY
Research has shown time and again that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. This becomes particularly important in winter when colds and flu rear their ugly heads.
When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections. But this boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects.
- BEAT THE WINTER BLUES
Whether it’s the usual winter blues or the more serious SAD (seasonal effective disorder) putting a gloom over the colder months. A daily workout releases feel-good, de-stress brain chemical gives you a break from the daily grind and helps ease depression. Plus, if you combine exercise with the great outdoors you can cheer yourself up even more!
We know that after exercise, the brain releases the “feel-good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing,”
45 minutes in the day could change your whole outlook on winter!
- TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Being cooped up with nothing but heaters to keep the air moving means fresh air is much harder to come by in winter! Generally, the air outside is healthier than the air inside so going for a walk or run outside gives your lungs a chance to detox and breathe deeply without concern for breathing in other people’s bugs (at home or from the office!).
- AVOID WINTER WEIGHT GAIN
In the colder months it is so easy to turn to comfort food, because it’s so satisfying and it makes us feel good, well for a little anyway, and then we feel guilty. It’s so easy to become a hibernating bear! No wonder it’s known as the ‘winter weight gain’ period. The average person puts on up to 4 kg! The only way to make up for those added treats is to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing. Try and balance your energy in and energy out then the shredding of clothes in spring won’t be such a shock!