Foggy morning and cold nights often keeps us away from our regular workouts and makes our muscles tighter. Joint pain, stiffness, and chronic aches get aggravated during the winter season due to less blood circulation, decreased body temperature and decreased frequency of doing exercises. So, it becomes more important to exercise during the winter season.
WHAT TO EXERCISE?
Always start with a low-intensity exercise that includes a brisk walk, lightweight exercises and general mobility exercises that helps to attain the required heart rate and also warm up muscles to go for dynamic exercises. Good starts with cardiovascular training always boost the stamina and avoid any workout-related injury.
Once the body is warmed up, we can shift to specific exercises like jogging, running, sprinting and lifting heavy weights under the guidance of a physiotherapist.
Dynamic exercises are an important part of the exercise regime in winters as compared to merely static exercises as it helps to reach the body core temperature and helps in other ways as well.
We can always arrange for bicycle, stationary bike, treadmill or a cross-trainer at home to keep up the pace of the workout. Try to at least do aerobic exercises three times a week. Research suggests even if we reduce the frequency and maintain the same intensity and duration, the aerobic capacity remains the same. This keeps us motivated to exercise.
BENEFITS OF EXERCISES IN WINTERS
1. Burn more calories and more fat stores to regulate core temperature.
2. Makes heart stronger as winters make the heart work harder to distribute blood throughout the body.
3. Sweat evaporates more quickly into winters thus making it seem as though the body is losing less water, so we drink more water before, during and after cold-weather workouts. Also, help maintain peak performance, protect the body from injury and stay warm.
4. Build tolerance for the freezing elements.
5. Winters makes us realize the importance of warm-up and cool-down routines.
6. Increased endorphin release after a workout leaves our body with a sense of happiness and lightness.
WHY EXERCISE IN WINTERS???
1. Keep body loaded with Vitamin D. In summer 10- 15 min short sun exposure is plenty but in winters scarce sunlight makes it even more important.
2. Keep your body warm
3. Exercising regularly in winters keep you at bay from seasonal cold and flu during the extreme change of temperature. So, the good part is it boosts immunity.
4. Beat the winter’s blues – releases feel-good de-stress brain chemicals that give you a break from the daily grind and help ease depression.
5. Maintain body weight.
6. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed people have more genetic markers for brown fat in the winter than during the summer. The body utilizes more energy to insulate itself. Even the most committed athletes face a motivational hurdle when the mercury drops and the days grow shorter. If you’re going to work out in the morning, check the weather forecast the night before and set out your exercise clothes, including any special gear for inclement weather.
Either before or during your workout, visualize a healthy reward waiting for you when you finish: a steaming cup of coffee, a soothing hot shower, or a big comfy sweater will be even more enjoyable afterward.
– By Garima Bansal