We know that exercising has many benefits for our health. However, once the cold winter weather hits, it becomes harder for us to want to leave the warmth of our homes. Although the cold temperatures make it challenging to get outside and move, there are some distinct advantages to working out in cooler weather.
Exercise boosts your immunity during cold and flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just a few minutes per day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections.
You may be able to work out longer in cold weather. This means you won’t have to worry as much about overheating and you can push yourself further. Winter’s chill might even make you feel awake and lively.
It’s a great way to take in the sunlight (in small amounts). Due to less sun exposure in the winter, vitamin D levels tend to fall drastically for many. So not only can the sunlight improve people’s moods, but it also helps boost your vitamin D levels.
Before you head outside, it is essential to make sure you are dressed appropriately to stay warm and dry. Staying warm and dry is all about layering. A little preparation can protect you from cold weather hazards like hypothermia and frostbite. Avoid cotton clothing, as it can trap moisture if it becomes wet, which will end up making you feel colder. For your first layer, you want something that pulls moisture away from your skin. Next, add a layer of fleece; finally, top with a thin waterproof layer. Now, layer up and try these outdoor activities to get moving, boost your mood, and increase your vitamin D:
- Brisk walking or hiking
- Jogging or running
- Raking leaves
- Shoveling snow
- Ice skating
- Cross-country skiing