Many of us find it more difficult to maintain a regular exercise regime in the winter months. The reasons are fairly obvious, it’s cold and people want to spend less time outside and are also less likely get in the car to drive to the gym during the cold, short and dark days of winter. There are many reasons why it is important to maintain your exercise regime through the winter months, the reasons being if you reduce your activity levels you will likely see:
Below are some of the benefits of exercising in cold weather and the importance of being active through winter:
1. Being cold!
Simply exposing the body to cold temperatures by exercising in cold weather stimulates thermogenesis, which refers to the bodies ability to generate its own heat. This seems fairly obvious and probably uninteresting, but cold induced thermogenesis, particularly when paired with the general benefits of an exercise session, has been shown to improve mood and energy levels, improve cognition, lead to better sleep, and improved immunity, and is now being investigated as a useful “anti-ageing” tool.
2. Immune health
Regular exercise is well established as a potent tool to improve immune function, which is particularly important in flu season, and of course in the age of COVID. This is due to an increase in the circulation of immune cells acutely after an exercise bout, a reduction in stress hormones with regular exercise, and by mitigating against the ageing related decline in immune function.
If you enjoy exercising outdoors, taking advantage of sunny days during winter is helpful to ensure your body is able to produce enough vitamin D, which is associated with reduced risk of osteoporosis, depression, and some cancers.
4. Mental Health
Ceasing or limiting your exercise in winter, along with general reductions in activity through the day as we spend more time indoors, can lead to issues with mood regulation and for many people increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. The release of endorphins and the reduction of stress hormones improve your mood, however consistency is key to ensure the long term benefits are achieved. Maintaining your normal routine will help you maintain your motivation and ensure you do not lose hard earned improvements through the winter months.
If you have any questions about the information above, or would like to make a booking with an Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist to assist you with your exercise programming through
winter, get in touch on 6352 3131, or book online at:
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
M.Clin.Ex.Phys, B.Sp.&Ex.Sci. AEP, AES, ESSAM
☎️ 6352 3131