Don't let the cold weather put you off - exercising outdoors can provide some surprising health benefits, check them out below.
1. It helps you use oxygen more efficiently
Research from Northern Arizona University found that after regular cold workouts, you can add 29% to your running speed as your body trains itself to use oxygen more efficiently
2. You’ll enjoy your workout more!
If you find yourself losing motivation mid-workout then take it outdoors. A study found that exercising al fresco has an overall positive effect on vitality, your sense of enthusiasm, aliveness, and energy.
3. You could end up feeling happier
One of the best things about the weather getting colder is the beautiful clear, cold sunny mornings that often come with it. Getting active outside can give us a much needed dose of vitamin D as the shorter days roll in and can help combat any winter blues. Studies have shown that participants who exercise outdoors have increased energy and satisfaction levels and decreased levels of tension, depression and anger.
4. You might be less likely to catch a cold
Staying active during the winter can be your best defence against colds and seasonal flu. Research from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research in the US found that you could cut your risk of illness by 20-30% as regular cold-weather training boosts your immune system.
So there you have it - just a few of the reasons why it's great to exercise outside. If you were reading this hoping to find that working out in the cold might burn more calories, here's a quick and friendly reminder. Exercise for weight loss as a goal makes you much less likely to achieve that goal than focusing instead on the feel good factor and enjoying yourself!
Still interested in finding out if exercising in the cold burns more calories? Well, it’s a plausible theory, after all our metabolic rate increases to warm up our bodies which expends more energy in the process. However, the increase is so minimal that it’s unlikely to make much of a difference to your total workout calorie burn. However, as we've shown above, there's plenty of great, science-backed reasons to take your workout outside so focus on them and get moving this winter!