5 Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in the Winter

The weather outside might be a little colder than expected depending on what part of the country you’re in, but don’t let that stop you from getting a workout in. When your body works out it heats up, so the cold is only a temporary factor. The winter weather is actually good for soothing sore muscles. There’s no better time to get out there and we’ve got some tips to get you back on your feet!

man running in the winter snow

Motivating Yourself for an Outdoor Winter Workout

For some, it’s already hard to find time to get a workout in, especially when you got a full time job or kids you have to take care of. How’s this for a new years resolution? Open up your calendar and block off time in advance because you have an important meeting to attend with yourself! With a workout built into your schedule, you’l feel more inclined to do it, rather than just randomly throwing it in where you see fit. It may take some trial and error to figure out what and when your best time to workout will be. It might be right when you wake up in the morning or after work, but keep trying different times to see which sticks. The point is to make it a routine!

walking and hiking outdoors in the winter

In the winter, it’s easy to find yourself coming home and snuggling up on the couch instead of lacing up your tennis shoes. With the short days of winter, it also gets dark faster so that factors into feeling sluggish during the evening. Maybe try running on your lunch breaks or take a break from the office when you can to take a quick walk around the property. No matter what time you head outdoors, make sure to dress for success and bring a bottle of water with you. Believe it or not people are actually more dehydrated during the winter because they feel less thirsty than they do during the summer months. Just because you aren’t thirsty doesn’t mean you are hydrated. We recommend checking the color of your urine to see your hydration level. Click here to read about 10 reasons why we need to drink water daily.

snowboarding down the mountain

The Benefits of Exercising in Nature

Better mood

A study done at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry finds that exercising outdoors may help you feel energized and positive.

Reduce Your Stress

Participants in the same study also noticed that their feelings of depression, tension and anger decreased while heading outside for a workout.

More Muscles and Calories are Burned

I bet you didn’t know that when you run outside, verses on a treadmill, your stride changes and you flex your ankles more which in turn, burns more calories. It’s also a nice variation change to your muscles that helps log longer distanced according to The New York Times’ Well blog.

The Wind Adds Resistance

When you run outside, you have more resistance against your body. Try cycling indoors and then go outdoors. You’ll see how much harder it is to pedal and gain speed. This resistance actually can make you tougher if done consistently.

Heart Rate Bumps Up

If you’re favorite activities can’t be done in the winter time, pick up a new hobby! Luckily for us in Arizona, we can do the same activities year-round. If you arne’t so lucky, try something new! Taking care of snow shoveling around your home can get your heart rate up quickly. Or get a group of friends together for a game of ice hockey. Got a snowboard or sled? Try hitting the hills or mountains to burn some real calories.

Before heading out, make sure you are prepped and ready. Always bring water with you no matter where you go. Our bodies constantly need water to function properly and it can be a long day if you are miles away from home with no water in sight. What are you waiting for, now get out there and exercise!