I always find it amusing hearing people’s reaction to when I run outside in cold temperatures or in inclement weather during the winter months. Most think that it’s crazy and wonder why I’m out there running for what it seems like miles. Other than my love for running, there’s actually some beneficial aspects to winter running. Sure, it is a bit on the crazy side, but it sure has its perks.
It may seem odd to say this, but colder temperatures are more optimal for runners. Your body automatically generates heat while moving, so you in turn would gradually warmup while it’s cold out. If you were to run with hot and occasionally humid conditions it would be more taxing to your body causing your body to overheat, which is no good to anyone. This is partially why most marathons take place in cooler months like October and November. If you train in the colder weather now, you’ll be more prepared for those types of races as your body would be acclimated to those temperatures.
Winter running also helps prevent winter weight gains. Speaking from personal experiences, this is a true statement. The holidays bring lots of fun, joy and food into our lives, but after they pass we seem to go into hibernation mode. We tend to eat more “comfort food” and sometimes it’s more than we want to eat. Yes, everyone has their New Year’s resolutions on losing weight or getting back into shape, but sometimes this slips out of our grasp and we wait until the warmer temperatures to exercise. So we put on our layered clothing and let the time pass until the temperatures rise, not realizing that you’ve added on a few pounds. This is something you may not have noticed if you were wearing a bathing suit, but the multi-layered outfits cover that up. Think about it this way, the more you workout in the winter, the more prepared you’ll be for “beach season.”
When I exercise in the winter I’m always prepared for the weather and I try to be as safe as I can. I find that winter workouts are imperative to not only every athlete, but to everyone in general. These are the times where you can train hard now and show off that “beach bod” later. How do you feel about winter workouts? Some love them and some hate them, but in the end they do have positive results.