Living Fit: Working out in the cold


Jogging in the snow, this runner does not let the harsh temperatures interfere with their workout schedule. There are many advantages to exercising in the cold, and it is not worth skipping a workout because of the weather during the winter season.

Sydney Smith, Co Editor-in-Chief

  December is upon us and with it the harsh winter temperatures. For many, this may entail making adjustments to your typical workout schedule, especially if you are used to outdoor exercise. Morning runs, afternoon bike rides, and weekend hikes may be considered seasonal activities for many, leading to their neglect during the winter months. However, there is no need to opt out of outdoor activities due to chilly weather, as there are many health benefits to working out in the cold, as well as plenty of ways to boost your motivation when it is difficult to get outside this winter season.

  In order to get motivated to exercise when it is cold, prepare well for your workouts by choosing outfits that will keep you warm in low temperatures. Consider investing in high-quality activewear pieces that will prevent you from using the cold as an excuse. As a student-athlete on Millbrook’s Cross Country team, senior Bernadette Rodts can vouch for the importance of dressing warm: “When running in the cold, you should always bring extra clothes! Even though starting off running you are freezing cold, you warm up, and what gets me through the run is the thought of a warm sweatshirt at the end.” Also, sometimes just making a detailed workout schedule can assist you; outline how you plan to exercise each week, and you will be more likely to stick to it. On top of that, keep in mind why you exercise and how you got started. What is your goal? Remind yourself why it is important, and this may serve as an extra bit of encouragement to get you through the colder months as you continue to follow your fitness regime. With all of that said, you do not have to work out outdoors every day. If the gym seems like a better option for you, feel free to opt for indoor exercise. However, you may want to consider going outside due to the vast range of health benefits it is associated with.

  The first of these advantages is that it can help you to avoid getting sick during the wintertime. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exercise in the cold improves your immune system, and as little as thirty minutes a day can prevent basic bacterial and viral infections. It is also important to note that the common belief that being in the cold for too long can cause you to get sick is a myth, and cold weather cannot directly impact your immune system. Another plus is that it has been proven to accelerate calorie- and fat-burning during exercise, as well as build endurance. Performing physical activity in extreme temperatures increases your ability to regulate body temperature, allowing you to exercise for longer periods of time.

  There are more benefits to working out in wintry weather than you may have presumed, and there are no excuses for avoiding exercise as the temperature drops. So, as Winter Break grows closer, and you begin to have more time to work out, consider skipping the gym and exercising in the cold; it may not be as bad as you think.