Weight loss in the winter may seem like a misstatement. After all, hearty casseroles and stews always hit the spot as you warm your toes by the fire. But winter can be an ideal time to shed extra pounds when you exercise and make Whole Health part of your lifestyle.
Let the temperatures do the training
Get outside and play in the snow. You may be tempted to stay indoors to exercise on your stationary bike, but exercising in the cold can jump-start your metabolism which causes your body to burn more calories. Run or walk in the afternoon, being cautious of wet and icy patches. Studies have shown that we expend five times more energy when shivering, compared to when we are resting.1
Benefits to exercising outside during the winter
- You’ll burn more calories. As the body works harder to regulate its core temperature, you’ll burn more calories during your wintry workout compared to exercising indoors.
- You’ll make your heart muscle stronger. Cold weather makes the heart work harder which isn’t necessarily good for someone with heart trouble. But, regular exercise in colder weather can make the heart stronger, better preparing the body for more strenuous workouts in the future.
- You’ll drink more water. You can still get dehydrated in the wintertime, so drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. You may not feel it, but you still sweat when it’s cold outside; it just evaporates quicker in dry, chilly air.
- You’ll get your vitamin D. Yes, even in the wintertime. But remember, too, that you still need to apply sunscreen.
- You’ll feel more energized. Cold air is stimulating and can boost your mood. As the body works harder to stay warm, the amount of endorphins increases.
- You’ll lessen your chances of the winter blues. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may be caused by lack of sun, activity and proper nutrition.3
Replace that hot chocolate with a fresh cup of PURE Café. You’ll suppress your appetite so you can limit the amount of calories you are eating throughout the day.
Dress appropriately. Wear water-resistant clothes and dress in layers so you can take pieces off as you get hot. Your body loses a lot of heat from your head, so a hat is a must, as are gloves. If you are into winter sports, cross-country skiing and ice skating burn the most calories.2
This infographic lists calories burned by Olympic winter sports activities. Find a friend or neighbor to run or walk with and be sure to create a goal. For instance, commit to 20 minutes of exercise three times a week. Use an app on your phone. There are many fitness apps, from calorie counters, to distance trackers, and more.
Make exercise a priority in the winter so you stay fit and healthy year ‘round. Always talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. You need to make sure the exercise you choose is safe for you.