Why Exercising in Winter Burns More Fat and Calories

Just because the longer, darker days of winter are here, it does not mean that you need to give up your exercise routine. In fact, exercising in winter is one of the best ways to maintain optimal health and burn your fat stores. Learning how you can safely and comfortably work out during the cold winter months will ensure that you stay in shape through the season. In addition to maintaining your health, a consistent winter workout routine may actually burn more fat and calories than exercising during other times of the year.

Importance of Exercise During the Winter

Why Exercising in Winter Burns More Fat and CaloriesAlthough the mercury is on the down swing, you should not feel discouraged from working up a sweat during the winter months. Research has shown that a consistent exercise routine can go a long way in boosting your immune system. A properly functioning immune system is especially important during cold and flu season.

Exercising outside also exposes the body to natural sunlight. This is important during the winter when most people spend more time indoors, as a lack of vitamin D can be common during this time. Adequate exposure to sunlight is also helpful in warding off seasonal affective disorder, a specific type of depression that some individuals experience during the dark days of winter. Being intentional about soaking up what little sun you can find in the winter can help to boost your mood.

How Exercising in Winter May Burn More Fat

A study out of Canada is signaling that vigorous exercise during the cold winter months may actually burn more fat than if you exercise indoors. Regular exercise increases the speed of the body’s metabolism. In turn, this helps to regulate the fat in the bloodstream. Because temperature also plays a part in metabolic function, it makes sense that the body may react differently to exercise during the colder months.

Additionally, you may burn more calories when you work out during the winter season. Because you are not dealing with heat and humidity, many people find that they are able to exercise for longer periods of time, boosting both caloric burn and the ability to blast through fat.

Tips for Exercising in the Winter

While it is a good idea to keep working out during the winter, you still need to take a few precautions to enjoy a safe and enjoyable exercise experience.

Check the Conditions

The best way to safely exercise outdoors during the winter is to be prepared. This means that you need to check the conditions before heading out. An hourly forecast app is a useful tool to help to inform you about the current and expected conditions during your workout.

Know the Symptoms of Frostbite and Hypothermia

Being informed about the signs of frostbite and hypothermia can help you to recognize the danger and take action if needed. Frostbite most commonly occurs on exposed extremities, such as the nose, fingers and ears. Go indoors and slowly warm the affected areas if you suspect frostbite. Signs of hypothermia include loss of coordination, extreme shivering and fatigue. You need to seek medical help immediately if you suspect hypothermia.

Dress in Layers

Many people make the mistake of dressing too warmly when exercising outdoors in the cold. Keep in mind that your body will still produce a fair amount of heat even in bitterly cold temperatures. In addition, the body will feel chilled as sweat evaporates from the surface of the skin, making it feel like it’s chillier than it really is. This makes it important to dress in layers so that you can adjust accordingly.

Start with a thin layer of a synthetic material that will pull sweat away from the body. Finish with a layer of fleece for insulation, followed with a waterproof piece of outerwear for maximum protection.

Protect Extremities

When dressing in layers, be sure to take extra care to protect the extremities. This includes your hands, feet, ears and nose.

Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated

It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated when the temperatures are cooler. However, it is still vital that you are purposeful about drinking plenty of fluids even when exercising in the cold. You can still become dehydrated from sweating in the cold even if it is harder to notice.

Lean Into the Season

Why Exercising in Winter Burns More Fat and Calories 1Rather than complaining about the cold weather, lean into the season by choosing exercises that harness the beauty of this season. There is nothing more peaceful than a walk through the snow. Or get out with the kids and go sledding. The act of pulling your sled back up the hill after every run will burn calories. Other good ideas include snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Understanding the importance of maintaining a normal exercise routine even when the mercury plummets is key to supporting your health during this time of year. With the right gear and knowledge, you can make the most of this time of the year so that you blast fat and maintain your health and wellness. Do not let the cold weather stop you from living your best life.