While the idea of working out in the cold may not appeal, hear us out. Exercising outside during the wintertime actually boasts benefits that may not be achieved as efficiently at warmer times of the year. (Not to mention the cost saving of no gym membership.)
Not convinced? We asked Svava Sigbertsdottir, founder of The Viking Method – a Nordic inspired high intensity workout loved by the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and Suki Waterhouse – for eight reasons why it’s worth giving the idea of a winter workout a second thought. Hat and gloves at the ready.
1. The cold weather forces your body to burn more calories as you need to expend extra energy on staying warm.
2. Insulin is often lower during the winter months which can lead to your body breaking down more fat. This is because insulin is a fat-storing hormone – when it is down your fat-burning hormones are forced to work harder.
3. Training in cold weather puts mild stress on your body which makes your immune system work, thus boosting it. See you later winter sniffles.
4. The cold makes your body use oxygen more efficiently and increases your body’s circulation.
5. Your parasympathetic system gets an extra stimulation from working out in cold weather. That system is responsible for rest and repair and also triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, the happy hormones.
6. Being able to take the harsh weather conditions like sprinting against the cold wind leads to increased toughness and endurance, both mentally and physically.
7. Being in a park and having the beautiful scenery around has got to be better than staring at the gym wall surely?
8. And finally, the cold is great for your skin as it tightens it and keeps you looking young, where as gym air-con is terrible for drying out the skin.