Keep Running this Winter Season, it's Good for You!

Elaine Standohar's picture
running in winter

Here are five reasons to swap your sweat band for a fleece-headband, fashion your compression socks into leg warmers, love your gloves and keep running this winter season. If you're worried about a wind-burned face, that's what Vaseline is for.

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1. Cold Running Boosts Metabolism
Running alone is an effective calorie burner, however, when done in the cold not only is your body working to make progress with your distance goal, but it is also working against a number of new factors introduced due to the cold outdoor temperature:

  • The weight of the added clothes on your body require more calories to move throughout your run.
  • The restriction of these clothes require more physical exertion for movement.
  • Additionally your body is fighting against the cold external temperature to maintain your body's internal temperature.

Contributing to a boost in metabolism and increasing the number of calories burned during your run.

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2. Improves Mood & Wards of Seasonal Depression
It's no secret that the act of running releases powerful hormones that improve mood and fight anxiety and depression. During the cold, winter months, though, you are statistically at a greater risk for developing feelings/symptoms of depression. It's called SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder (see, the winter blues really do exist!). Continuing your running routine throughout the winter season will help to reduce your risk of SAD and keep feelings of depression and anxiety at bay.

3. Less Stressful on the Body & Body Systems
Running in the cold is vastly better on your body than running in the heat. That’s because runs during hot, humid summer days put a lot of stress on your body and body systems. The circulatory system and heart struggle to keep up with the increased workload that running demands and while your body as a whole fights fatigue and overheating. Your body is also more prone to dehydration and heat stroke during summer runs.

4. Encourages Workout Adherence
Cold temperatures, seasonal depression, and shorter days are all factors that have serious potential to negatively impact a person’s fitness goals and workout routine, which is why people are at their least active during the winter months. And the monotony of daily runs at the gym on a stationary treadmill does not help in the fight against hibernation and inactivity. Outdoor runs in the cold provide a refreshing alternative to treadmill workouts that promotes greater adherence to your running.

5. Free!
This reason is pretty self-explanatory. Why pay for something when you have the means and luxury to do it for free?! It's a win-win for you, your bank account, and your thighs!

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Comments

Excellent advice! Running is a great way to stay in shape.