The temperature has dropped, the number of layers you’re wearing has risen and the thought of outside exercise is seriously unappealing (we get it!) But as the old cliché goes, summer bodies are made in winter and the payoff is definitely worth it.
Aesthetics aside, here’s three reasons to pull on your running shoes and get moving:
1.You’ll be happier
Heading outdoors is important during the colder months – not just for fitness, but for your vitamin D levels too. Not only is this nutrient essential for strong bones, it can also help you stay positive and happy. And as it’s almost impossible to get the required amount from our diet alone, we need a little help from UV rays (even on those grey and dreary days!). While the amount of time you need in the sun varies according to your skin type, exposing your forearms to around two to three hours every week should allow the benefits of Vitamin D to be absorbed.
2.You’ll beat your PB
If you’ve been waiting to increase your running speed, then the cold weather is the time to do it. Research from the Northern Arizona University found that regular workouts in cold conditions could increase your speed by up to 29 per cent.
Avoid the influx of sniffles and colds by sticking to your outdoor running regime. Researchers say that the fitter and more active you are, the less likely you are to succumb to illness in the winter months.
Convinced? Keep these 6 hacks in mind:
- Make sure you have enough layers on. Remember, you can always take them off as your body heats up.
- Ensure sure you warm up and warm down properly to avoid injury.
- Keep up the fluids. Cold weather workouts may not make you feel thirsty, but you still need to rehydrate.
- Set yourself some goals. Even something is better than nothing. So, start off small, to avoid becoming discouraged.
- Support your immune system. A new study has found that athletes who supplement their diet with Ubiquinol may help to reduce the depletion of the antioxidant CoQ10 (which typically occurs during exercise) and could even improve performance on the track and field.
- Find a running partner and agree on a running schedule. Research shows that you’re more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you’ve made a date with a running mate.