Don’t Be Afraid of The Cold

Even though the first official day of spring has arrived, here in Michigan we are still experiencing some pretty chilly temperatures and working out in the cold can be less than motivating. But before you throw in the towel and restrict yourself to the crowded, stuffy gym, it maybe worth giving the idea of a cold weather workout a second thought.

Here are 6 reasons, why working out outdoors in the cold is beneficial:  

  1. Working out outside can save you money, because gym memberships can cost a fortune.
  2. An outdoor workout is great for your heart.
  3. Having sun exposure is a great source of Vitamin D.
  4. It improves your mood and you’ll build a tolerance for colder weather.
  5. You’ll burn more calories, and it prevents excess weight gain.
  6. Exercising outdoors boosts energy.

Ways to Workout Outdoors 

Endurance exercises will make it easier for you to walk farther, faster, and uphill. Some endurance workouts include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Running
  • Jogging

These exercises increase your breathing and heart rate and improve the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.

Strength exercises will increase muscle strength.

Some strength workouts include:

  • Jogging with dumbbells
  • Step-ups onto an elevated platform.
  • Squats & Lunges
  • Shoveling snow

These exercises target functional movements that we do every day, like bending down, pushing and pulling things, and picking things up.

Balance exercises help prevent falls.

Some balance exercises include:

  • Back leg raises
  • Side leg raises
  • Standing on one foot

These exercises improve your ability to control and maintain your body’s position, whether you are moving or still.

Flexibility exercises can help your body limber, which gives you more freedom of movement for your regular physical activity.

Some flexibility exercises include:

  • Shoulder and upper arm raise
  • Lower back stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Back of leg stretch

For additional, cold weather workouts, check out some of our favorites:

Do you exercise outdoors? Do you know any outdoor exercises? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Always consult your health care provider before beginning an exercise program. Never push yourself through pain. Exercise is meant to improve your health, not impair it.

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan 

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