The cooler weather is here and even though many of us would love to hibernate, it’s really important to keep up physical activity when the temperature drops. Here are the top 7 reasons why we need to keep exercising during the cooler months.
1. THE SUN IS MORE OF A FRIEND THAN YOUR HEATER
There’s a reason it’s called the sunshine vitamin. While there are a limited number of foods that can provide your body with vitamin D, the easiest source is from exposure of bare skin to sunlight.
During summer a short exposure of 10-15 minutes is plenty, but in winter, sunshine can be harder to come by, especially if you are snuggled up indoors. So that’s why it’s important to get outside, get moving and smile at the sun!
Sunshine makes strong bones, and keeps your immune system strong. It can also boost positivity and help prevent high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.
2. KEEP WARM
Save electricity and an expanding waistline by heating your body up naturally with a workout. The rise in your body temperature during a workout has a soothing, calming effect on your body, not unlike a long soak in a warm bath or lying in front of the heater.
Yes, it’s cold when you first step outside but if you layer up (daggy doesn’t matter) and get moving you will be hot within no time at all.
3. STAY HEALTHY
Research has shown that regular exercise strengthens your immune system so it can fight off bacterial and viral infections. This becomes particularly important in winter when colds and flu rear their ugly heads.
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.
4. BEAT THE WINTER BLUES
A daily workout releases feel-good, de-stress brain chemicals, gives you a break from the daily grind and helps ease depression. If you combine exercise with the great outdoors you can cheer yourself up even more.
We know that after exercise the brain releases the “feel-good” chemicals serotonin and dopamine, which can help to reduce anxiety and depression while boosting wellbeing.
5. TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Being cooped up with nothing but heaters to keep the air moving means fresh air is much harder to come by in winter. Generally, the air outside is healthier than air inside so going for a walk or run outside gives your lungs a chance to detox and breathe deeply without concern for breathing in other people’s bugs at home or from the office.
6. AVOID WINTER WEIGHT GAIN
In the colder months it is so easy to turn to comfort food because it’s so satisfying and it makes us feel good. It’s so easy to become a hibernating bear! No wonder it’s known as the ‘winter weight gain’ period. The average person puts on up to 4 kg! The only way to make up for those added treats is to increase the amount of exercise you’re doing. Try and balance your energy in and energy out then the shredding of clothes in spring won’t be such a shock.
7. ENABLE GREATER SPINAL MOVEMENT FOR LESS ACHES AND PAINS
When we exercise we mobilise our spine and help reduce restrictions that can cause headaches, backaches, neck pain and other aches and pains. Having greater spinal mobility is important to a healthy and happy life.