Four reasons to workout in winter

Don’t let the cold weather freeze your motivation and exercise program

May 14, 2021

When the mercury drops, so too can your motivation to exercise. Dark and frosty mornings, bleak days and rainy weather can freeze the best laid plans. It’s easy to see why so many people end up opting for a Netflix session over going for a walk or to the gym. 

 

Don’t despair. Losing motivation in winter is a common challenge, yet here are four reasons why you should try your best to keep moving during winter. 

 

1. Exercise helps boost your immunity 

 

Exercise helps to decrease the risk of the common cold or other infections — alongside helping prevent many other health concerns such as lower mood, high blood pressure and weight gain. 

 

When you exercise and get your blood pumping, immune cells circulate through your body more quickly helping them seek and destroy infections. But this boost only lasts for a few hours, so exercise needs to be regular for long-term effects.

 

2. Working out is easier in winter 

 

Research suggests that cold weather may actually improve endurance. That’s because in colder temperatures your heart doesn’t have to work as hard, you sweat less, and expend less energy, all of which means you can exercise more efficiently. 

 

3. Exercise helps to brighten your mood 

 

Although more research is needed into the cause of SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, medical professionals think that it’s related to lack of sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days, which might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly.  

 

It’s pretty sad if you get SAD living in Australia, but nevertheless the short daylight hours can leave people feeling short-changed. Exercising helps release powerful hormones that help combat this depression. 

 

4. Exercise in winter transforms fat 

 

Studies have shown that exercising in cold weather can transform white fat, specifically belly and thigh fat, into calorie-burning brown fat. 

 

When it’s cold, you might start shivering because muscle movement helps heat up the body. Shivering can burn around 100 calories in 15 minutes. Our muscles secrete a hormone called irisin that stimulates heat production from white and brown fat cells stored in the body. That’s why when you shiver, not only do your muscles burn calories, using glycogen stores, but also your fat stores burn calories.

 

Even if you’re not at the shivering stage, your body is trying to warm-up, burning calories in the process.

 

Warm up your winter exercise program with PhysioTrain 

 

Keeping moving and maintaining regular exercise this winter by joining a PhysioTrain exercise rehab class. Our small group exercise classes are the perfect way to stay active, healthy and strong during the bleak Melbourne winter months.