December is here which means cold mornings, brisk winds and winter precipitation. For many people in East Texas, winter is not a desirable time to get outdoors and exercise. Skipping a workout or visiting a local gym seems much more appealing, but there are several benefits of outdoor winter exercise. Tyler Wellcare, proudly serving the Tyler, Texas area with a medical weight loss program, is here to help our patients remain active throughout the year, including the cold, winter months.
Benefits of Outdoor Winter Exercise
Many people believe exercising outdoors during cold weather is not desirable, and many believe it is extremely hard on the body. The truth is – outdoor winter exercise has numerous health benefits. Here are several benefits of cold weather workouts:
- The body burns more calories in order to stay warm. More calories burned means more weight loss if the same warm weather diet is followed.
- The body’s endurance increases because the heart, lungs and circulatory system becomes stronger.
- Working out in the crisp, cool mornings or evenings can help keep the mind sharp. If the sun is shining, the body will also absorb some beneficial Vitamin D.
- Cold weather stimulates the body’s parasympathetic system (“fight” or “flight” response) that releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that increases a person’s good mood.
How to Safely Engage in Outdoor Winter Exercise
Winter exercise can be fun and rewarding if an individual sets their mind to embrace the new challenge. Exercising in cold weather can increase weight loss, keep the body in good shape all year and enhance a person’s mood. Follow these simple tips to stay safe and active this winter:
- Acclimate to the cold weather by performing simple indoor warm-ups that increase the body’s temperature before heading outside.
- Dress in layers that can be peeled off as the body’s temperature rises.
- Engage in different recreational sporting activities to burn calories and provide weight loss, such as ice skating or having a snowball fight.
- Realize the many health benefits of outdoor winter exercise and embrace them.
If a person is not a fan of cold weather and struggles to get outdoors in the winter months, there are other physical activities they can begin. They can buy a new home workout program, purchase new cardio equipment, build the home gym they desire or join a fitness class. No matter how cold it gets this winter, there is always an option available to keep the body healthy and active.
For more information on winter exercise and weight loss, or for more resources on our medical weight loss program, please contact the team at Tyler Wellcare, proudly serving the greater Tyler, Texas area.