Maintaining Fitness During Winter
Winter, the season of warmth and comfort, typically doesn’t inspire early gym sessions or evening jogs. However, studies suggest that you tend to cut your training hours short and spend more time being inactive during winter. However, there are effective ways to keep up with your fitness routine during the cold months.
The Importance of Winter Exercise
Despite the common reluctance to exercise during winter, maintaining a regular routine can help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which tends to affect women more than men, and impacts both mood and general health. Exercise is known to alleviate symptoms of SAD, and recent studies suggest that engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of depression, regardless of genetic risk.
Cold Weather Training Benefits
Training in cold weather may have certain advantages. Cold-induced thermogenesis can potentially transform white fat into brown fat, which aids in maintaining body temperature. However, the overall benefits and calories burned are still subject to discussion. Moreover, the body’s hormonal response to cold weather exercise might stimulate appetite, leading to the possibility of increased calorie intake post-workout.
Effective Strategies for Winter Workouts
Despite the obstacles, there are strategies to motivate yourself to exercise during winter. According to running coach Hayley Hemmings, integrating your workout into your commute can be a beneficial habit. Partnering with a buddy can also keep you accountable and help tackle dark winter runs with joint safety measures.
Alternative Indoor Exercising Options
If the idea of outdoor training during winter doesn’t appeal to you, there are indoor alternatives. Walking as few as 4,000 steps per day can significantly lower your mortality risk, while high-intensity interval training can enhance your mood and help reduce fat.
Mood and Winter Fitness
Lastly, don’t underestimate the role of your mood in motivating you to exercise. Adequate vitamin D intake can positively influence your mood and this nutrient can be scarce during winter. Therefore, investing in a vitamin D supplement can be a smart move.