When it’s cold outside, and you’re warm in bed, it can be hard to get up for that early morning run. Not to mention the shorter winter days that make it seem like it is midnight at 5:30 in the afternoon. Getting motivated to get outside can be a challenge.
However, some people can’t wait to get out in the cold weather and get going. They live for a run, walk, or ride in the brisk weather. What do they know that the rest of us don’t?
Cardio in Cold Weather Pros
Cardio in cold weather makes your cardiovascular system work harder. If you are a regular exerciser, your winter runs will keep your heart in good shape. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, cardio in the cold weather boosts your immune system. The cold weather makes your immune system work harder and better prepared to fight off viruses and bugs.
Exercise elevates your mood at any time of year but is particularly effective at chasing the winter blues away. Even though you feel like you are sweating less, your metabolism is working harder. Cardio in the cold weather maxes out your calorie burn and kicks your metabolism into overdrive.
Cardio in Cold Weather Cons
Although cardio in cold weather has benefits, it also has some downsides. Outdoor cardio enthusiasts need to plan before they go on that run in frigid weather conditions. Icy weather can aggravate asthma and trigger sinus issues. The cold wind can damage skin, and, if you run in especially cold conditions, frostbite is a danger for hands and feet. Even the sun can be a danger as it reflects off the bright, white snow, so be sure to put on some sunscreen, no matter the season.
A Note from GR8NESS
When exercising outdoors, wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the bright winter sun and dress in layers to help your body stay warm and dry, but not overheat.