Now that it is turning colder, the thought of staying in your house is much more appealing than heading outside to workout. The motivation to run steadily depletes as the warmth slowly goes. To help get your motivation fired up again, here are the benefits of winter running that you should think about next time you are tempted to skip your session and stay indoors instead.
The Benefits of Winter Running
1. Burn More Calories
Here is one of the best benefits of winter running – you actually burn more calories! When we are cold, we automatically start shivering as this repeated movement provides us with warmth. This means that our body actually works harder. We use more energy when winter running than in summer because our bodies need that extra fuel to keep us warm.
So next time you are struggling to make it out the door for a run, just think about those extra calories you will burn. It will make getting your running shoes on much more bearable.
2. Strengthen Your Heart
Not only does your body burn more calories to keep us warm, but your heart needs to work harder to pump blood around the body as well.
This means that you will simultaneously strengthen your heart.
3. Build Mental Strength
One of the biggest obstacles when going for a run in winter is not the cold but rather our mentality towards it. We convince ourselves we would be much better off at home with a cup of hot chocolate rather than getting in some movement.
By encouraging yourself to brace the cold and realising that it is bearable, we build on our mental strength. We push through those barriers that hinder our progress.
Similar to running, the more you do it, the better you get at it. By constantly challenging ourselves to take the harder route of winter running over staying indoors, we improve our mental strength.
4. Improve Your Physical Endurance
By running in the cold, your body will become used the cold and other weather conditions that you may encounter such as the snow. You will condition yourself to run in various environments, hence improving your physical endurance.
Doing so will make you more confident in your running abilities in facing whatever weather challenges that are thrown your way.
5. Place Less Heat Stress on the Body
While it may seem like it is better to run when it is hot, your body will actually thank you for the cold weather. One of the benefits of winter running is that there is less heat stress on the body. It means your body won’t be weighed down by the heat and sweat, which will make it easier for you to run.
To help counteract the cold, just layer up. When it does get too hot, you can easily just strip off the outer layers to cool down. And remember, the faster you get moving, the less cold it will become.
6. Buy New Winter Workout Clothes
One of the best benefits of winter running is knowing that you have a legitimate excuse to go shopping for new workout gear.
After all, you can’t go out in the cold in your summer shorts and tops. You need workout clothes that a specifically designed for the cold weather. This may be thermal tops or tights, windbreakers and of course, proper shoes to help you keep you balanced in the cold or snow.
What a great excuse to go shopping for new winter workout gear!
7. Work off the Winter Gains
When it is winter and we are hiding behind our clothes, it can be easy to overlook or miss any weight gain. Winter is the season where people tend to let their healthy habits slide. And who can blame them? It is much easier to stay home and huddled up in front of the heater than going out to workout. Not to mention, constantly consuming all the yummy hearty winter soups and food to keep us warm!
However, don’t let the winter weight creep up on you. By actually going for that run, you will remain active, moving and more importantly, healthy.
8. Get Your Summer Body
Too often, summer hits and people start panicking about the little time they have to get their “summer bodies”. While the cold seems like the best excuse to skip training, it is actually the best time to start getting ready for summer.
“Summer bodies are made in winter” so get out there and go for a run, especially in winter. So not only will it prevent that winter weight gain, come summer, and we will already be prepared.
Next time you are struggling to remember why you should hit the pavement, remember these multiple benefits of winter running. Not only will you improve your running abilities, you will also build your mental strength.
Zen Labs Fitness has a range of running apps that are designed specifically to help you. With a formulated run-walk program, audio coach and prompts, as well as a supportive community of fellow runners on your side, you can be sure to improve your running game.
What motivates you to go running in winter? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!