Running is probably one of the most feel-good exercises out there. The amount of stamina you can get out of this exercise cannot be achieved with anything else. Sure, push-ups, lifting weight, pull-ups, and chin-ups might be great for your strength, but they will never improve your stamina to a level like running would.
However, when the weather starts getting colder during the winter season when the air is dry and the chances of rain or snow are high, the motivation to go out for a run is almost non-existent. Getting yourself out of the comfort of your warm home is difficult. You give yourself various excuses not to go out.
But, the reality is that once you start warming up, you won’t even feel the snow or the cold. Believe it or not, but running in cold weather can actually be better for you. It might feel like the movement of your body is simpler and easier, your metabolism is working faster and the possibility of experiencing a bunch of other benefits.
How to stay warm and safe
Before we start explaining the benefits of running in cold weather, we should first give you a guide on how to stay warm and safe too.
Most sport/exercise-related injuries happen when a person is not properly warmed up. Your elbows, knees and other joints in your hand and feet are still stiff. So, before you start running, you should do some stretching,jumping jacks, a couple of push-ups and you will be ready to go.
You can’t leave your house for a run with a pair of shorts and a shirt like you used to do. You will need a few layers of clothing to ensure that you don’t freeze. Cold weather is something that you should take seriously. Once you have warmed up, and have made a couple of runs around the neighborhood, you can’t start taking off layers of your clothing to let your body breathe a bit. You should check LEAPFIT to find a proper set of running clothes.
Keeping your feet comfortable, warm and your joints protected is very important. You will need a pair of sneakers that are light enough and ones with a nice grip on the bottom of the sole. Roads and gravel can be quite slippery, especially if the temperature is below freezing. Slipping and hurting yourself because of a bad pair of shoes is not something that you would want to happen to you.
Now that we got through some of the ways to keep yourself warm and safe, here are the benefits of running in cold weather.
Burning more fat
How could the temperature of the atmosphere outside have such a huge impact on your body? We admit that it sounds weird, but it is true. The fat inside of the human body is not just one type of mass, but it is actually several different types. Currently we different three different cells: white, brown and visceral.
The type of fat that causes health problems and that we want to get rid of is the white one. These white and large cells are usually stored between and around the organs. Of course, this type of fat is good for your health, but too much of it can be dangerous to your health.
When you start exposing and exercising in the cold outside, the white fat inside of your body is turning into brown. The brown type is what helps us stay warm and it helps the body to burn calories. So, the colder outside and the more you exercise, the more white fat you are removing out of your body. You will quickly start noticing a change in your body’s shape and you will look a lot fitter than you used to.
Less stress on the body
Have you ever tried running during the summer days under the scorching hot sun? If you haven’t then don’t try to do that, because an excessive amount of heat to your body can be seriously dangerous. Overheating or dehydrating is not something that you would want to happen to you while you are outside running.
When exercising, the speed of the heart’s pumping increases, the blood vessels in the start to widen, exposing more blood to the skin. This is the reason why your body gets so warm when working out. The more blood the heart pumps to the skin and muscles, the more you will be able to endure. You are stronger and faster during these moments.
However, all of this excess heat has to be released somehow which is why you start sweating. The more you work out, the more you will start sweating.
If you go outside on a run during the hot summer days, you will have a much harder time cooling down which is why your stamina is not as high as it was just a couple of months ago during the spring days.
This is why cold is the ideal type of weather. The cold air will help you cool down while running, keeping your body’s temperature at a perfect level at all times, giving you the ability to perform much better than you would in hotter weather.
You’ll spend less time at home
Many studies have shown that people during the winter days have a lot less motivation to get out of the home. Of course, you will still have to go to school, college or work, but the number of social interactions outside of your obligatory tasks is considerably reduced. Less sun, cloudy weather, grey lighting looks depressing which is why we feel a bit depressed during this time.
Such sad times can lead people to stay at home and eat more. So, if you do not want to ruin the progress you have achieved during the summer and autumn days, you should start running in the cold. It will make you feel lively and you will have a good reason to get out of the comfort of your home.