Winter is a season of the year that not everyone associates with physical activity. During this period, some people stop practicing sports, not only outdoors. Why is this happening? Low temperature, snow, rain, short days, low energy …? We prefer to spend the evening under a blanket with warm tea, a book or a movie. Or maybe it is worth to overcome and choose an activity that will bring us joy, give us energy, and – what is important – help us stay in good shape. Today I will present you the possibilities, advantages and disadvantages of practicing sports in winter. Decide what will be the best solution for you 🙂 What you can be sure is that any physical activity is better than not!
The benefits of regular physical activity
If you include some exercise in your daily schedule, it will certainly bring many benefits to your health and figure. It will be both the prevention of civilization diseases and a form of supporting recovery. The most important thing is to adjust the activity to the lifestyle, preferences and possibilities. What benefits can you feel?
- Improving well-being, increasing energy levels.
- Improving concentration and memory.
- Weight loss, maintenance or increase, depending on the intensity, frequency of training and the diet used.
- Firming the body.
- Maintaining the right amount of bone mass.
- Lowering the level of stress and tension.
- Better oxygenation of the body’s cells.
- Increase in the efficiency of the cardiovascular system.
- Lowering blood pressure, improving the flexibility of blood vessels.
- Balancing or maintaining the level of glucose and insulin in the blood at an appropriate level, and thus preventing the occurrence of insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
You can read about how much exercise we need to stay healthy HERE. What else is worth paying attention to? Data from the 2018 release of the Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) shows that 61% of Poles surveyed have been engaging in regular physical activity over the last year, unfortunately, looking at previous research, the number of people not practicing sports has increased by as much as 5%. This is an unfavorable trend that we can change together!
Winter physical activity
We associate winter with snow, and when it is snow, the first associations that come to mind are skis, snowboard, sledges, skates, or sea swimming, which has become more and more popular recently. You can still run, walk or practice nordic walking. Which sport is closest to your heart? It will certainly bring a lot of joy and help you maintain a proper body weight or reduce unnecessary body fat. Therefore, I encourage you to take advantage of the winter weather and be active during this time.
You definitely need to be better prepared for outdoor sports in winter. How to do it? Appropriate clothing is the basis. It is worth getting thermal underwear, clothes and shoes adapted to the season. Another issue is warming up, the body, especially when the temperatures are low, needs exercises that will stimulate the circulation and raise the heart rate a little, which can save you from injury.
Perhaps for some, the real incentive to be active in winter, especially outdoors, will be the fact that sports at low temperatures increase the body’s need for energy. It is related to the process of thermoregulation, the so-called Tremor thermogenesis as well as increased metabolic rate. Studies have also shown that a drop in blood glucose reduces the body’s tolerance to cold. Therefore, remember about a proper pre-workout meal.
How to motivate yourself to play sports in winter?
Consider the goal: why is it worth exercising? For some, it will be a priority health, for others slim figureand for some it way to spend a free time.
If, after all, you can’t always break to do the training, find a training partner. It should be a person with a similar level of training, who likes similar activities to yours. If you have a bad day, your partner will definitely motivate you to do the training and vice versa!
There are also many people who love challenges! And here I am meeting your expectations. Just install my application Diet & Training by Ann. The beginning of the year is always the time of a joint training challenge, combined with a healthy diet and caring for regeneration. Are you ready to take up the challenge today? You can read more about the latest challenge HERE.
The challenges you set for yourself allow you to break down barriers and develop! I guess everyone knows that sport toughens not only the body, but also the character, I know something about this. Therefore, the more I encourage you to be active not only yours, but also your loved ones – both big and small. Sport is a great way to spend free time together.
Are there any downsides to doing sports in winter?
Winter is a time when the day is relatively short, and the sun goes down quickly sometimes before you have time to return from work. In addition, it is snowing or raining. It is not an inviting aura to go to training or just go to the gym or swimming pool.
However, this is not a contraindication! If you are healthy, you have the right clothes, you can go out to training without question 🙂
For me, health and well-being are the key, so I don’t think about the weather or the season of the year. All I think about is what sport I can do in the conditions I have.
As I mentioned above, I often train with the application Diet & Training by Annwhich allows me to train in all conditions, no matter where I am.
Of course, even a person training regularly, properly dressed and motivated to train must take into account consequences of training in low temperatures. They are: greater fatigue, slower post-workout regeneration, possible hypothermia as a result of prolonged exercise.
Another important aspect that cannot be underestimated is the possibility of dehydration. How is this possible? As in high temperatures, we lose water through sweating, increased water loss in the exhaled air, or increased diuresis (urination). At the same time, in winter, unfortunately, less fluid supply is observed, because you do not feel thirsty and you eat less fresh fruit and vegetables, for example.
Sports as a way to lower your mood
Endorphins, norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine are what are responsible for post-workout well-being. How does it happend? Endorfiny improve well-being, relieve pain and inhibit the secretion of cortisol – the stress hormone. norepinephrine causes emotional arousal, strengthens concentration and improves memory. Serotonin is peace and contentment, and dopamine increases motivation to act! 30 minutes of training a day is enough to take advantage of the beneficial effects of these neurotransmitters. These are also the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).
You already know the pros and cons of doing sports in winter. You know that there is always a solution and each season gives you many opportunities to spend time actively. Therefore, if you do not have clear medical recommendations about contraindications to sports, then you have no reason not to exercise 🙂 The winter period should not disturb you. And the body will thank you for your activity with health and good form for years!
- Public Opinion Research Center. Poles’ physical activity. Test report No. 125/2018: 1-8.
- Górski J (ed). Physiological foundations of physical effort. PZWL Medical Publishing House, Warsaw 2014.
- Tank W. A., Lee Wong D., Peripheral and central effects of circulating catecholamines, Comprehensive Physiology, 2015, 5: 1-15.
- Zeman V. Physical activity in a cool environment. Med. Sport Pract 2003, 4 (1).