Don’t Like The Cold? Wait Until You Try Cold Weather Exercise
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
2021 is in full swing. Of course, many of us have that very common New Year's resolution: lose some weight and get in shape.
If you are feeling discouraged because so many gyms across the country are still closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, I have some good news for you. Many fitness organizations have moved their fitness activities outdoors during the winter, including some cycling studios like Hillcrest Cyclebar. And one recent study found evidence which suggests that exercising outdoor in cold weather could burn more fat.
The study, which was conducted in Canada, suggests that vigorous exercise performed outside in cold weather may burn more fat than exercise performed indoors.
“Regular physical activity speeds metabolism and helps regulate fat in the blood ("lipids"), and high-intensity training is better for burning fat than moderate-intensity exercise, the researchers said,” according to this recent Medical Xpress report discussing the study.
Take An Outdoor Spin Class In The Early Morning Hours When It's Chilly!
Vigorous exercise includes activities that really speed up your heart rate such as sprinting.
“Temperature also plays a role in metabolism during exercise.”
The study involved moderately fit but overweight adults. They were instructed to do high-intensity exercise in both 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The results suggested that exercising in the colder temperature increased lipid oxidation by 358%!
Before you attempt high-intensity cold weather exercise, get clearance from a competent healthcare professional if you are pregnant or have any existing health issues. It is also extremely important to be careful when being outside and exercising. You may have to watch out for ice in order to avoid falls and injuries. Also be sure to stretch both before and after physical activity.Fuel Properly.
It’s imperative to hydrate sufficiently. Just because you are in colder weather does not mean that you do not need plenty of water. You also want to be sure to fuel your body with all of the necessary nutrients such as vitamins C, D and E as well as selenium, B vitamins and more.
If working out in the cold is not within your wheelhouse, there is still plenty you can do to achieve that resolution of getting in shape this year. Remember that small changes can make big differences:
Spend less time being sedentary. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the door or stand up and do a few squats during commercial breaks when watching your favorite television show.
Find healthy alternatives. Is ice cream your go-to in the evening? Try some frozen grapes, a bowl of fruit instead or some Greek yogurt. (You also want to try to avoid ultra-processed foods as much as possible).
Find a happier hour. Alcohol is full of sugar and calories. It also depletes the body of essential vitamins and minerals that the body needs to maintain a healthy weight. Replace that five o’clock cocktail time with a soothing cup of tea, some yoga or a walk in your neighborhood.
Add more water into your diet. We often mistake hunger for dehydration. You can also increase your water intake through healthy, nutrient-rich foods such as cucumber and watermelon.
And of course, any physical activity is good for your health and weight loss goals. Working out inside your own home is a great way to get active and get in shape despite not being able to go to the gym due to COVID-19 restrictions. You might also want to consider treating yourself to a stationary bike or treadmill so that you can bring some of the gym into your home. I know these items can be pricey, but I think if there is one major key takeaway from 2020 it is that we cannot put a price on both our physical and mental health. Let’s make this a priority in 2021.
Enjoy your healthy life!
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor or another competent healthcare practitioner to get specific medical advice for your situation.
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.