The transition from Autumn to Winter is in full swing, the nights are drawing in, the frosty mornings are reborn and sunlight seems to have vanished by 5pm. So is the excuse ‘it’s too cold’ valid?
This is dependant on the extremity of the cold weather and high winds, which could potentially lead to frost bite, hypothermia or freezing. Exercise in these situations wouldn’t be recommended due to the lack of energy available in our body. Excessive fatigue is the first step towards these conditions and the body always holds back a reserve of energy for emergencies so wasting crucial energy on exercise is definitely not advised.
Consequently, vasoconstriction (constriction of the blood vessels) increases the insulating capacity. This in turn would directly lead to a reduction in the temperature of the extremities (limbs). The body would be happy to lose a few fingers or toes to keep your internal organs warm!
Benefits of exercising in cold weather:
Immune system boost
Winter training is a great way to boost your immune system and protect yourself from the seasonal flu. It’s been discovered that regular exercise in the cold outdoors reduces the risk of flu susceptibility by 20-30%.
Exercise increases the circulation in your body through your heart and lungs. These effects are heightened in cold weather. Quicker circulation!
Enhances lung efficiency
Training in cold weather puts a greater pressure on the lungs (which is good). Studies conducted showed that training in cold weather trains your lungs to utilise oxygen more efficiently, which help to boost your overall athletic performance.
So, the UK’s winter weather is perfectly fine to exercise in. It may be cold but make sure you warm up before you go outside, wrap up warm and keep moving. Because of the metabolic heat generated in our muscles, the more you move the more energy (ATP) your body creates.
Get a green tea inside you and enjoy the fresh air!