In the sport of CrossFit, Iceland has dominated on the women’s side for many years. Katrin Davidsdottir, Annie Thorisdottir, and Sara Sigmundsdottir all come from Iceland, and therefore all know the benefits of training in cold weather. However, here in the States during the cold months many of us stay inside, in temperature controlled gyms.
And you know what? That’s a little bit of a shame. There are many benefits of training in cold weather, not the least of which is an increased caloric burn. That’s right, training in cold weather can increase your calories burned, and therefore your fat loss, too. Read on for more.
Benefits of Training in Cold Weather
Like I said above, you can burn more calories working out in cold weather. Why is that? Not only does your body have to work to move throughout the workout, but it also has to work just to stay warm.
Another benefit of training in cold weather is related to mood. The days become shorter and you get less sunlight, so your mood gets worse. This is because seratonin, a feel good chemical in your brain, reduces as night falls. What’s one of the best ways to increase this? Exercise. Get outside, soak up the sun, and get those feel good endorphins going.
Finally, if you’re at all concerned with your performance in your fitness, working out in the cold can increase your speed when you get back to regular temperatures. A study from Northern Arizona University actually showed that when you workout regularly in the cold, your running pace can increase as much as 29% upon return to regular temperature training.Now that we know some benefits of training in cold weather, here are some easy strategies you can use to get your cold weather training in as the weather gets down in the low digits.
1. Simply go for a run…outside! I know this is obvious, but so many people elect to slog away on a treadmill instead of getting outside and running when the temperature changes. Always be sure to warm up throughly before you start, and then get outside and enjoy that crisp air. In the dog days of summer, you’ll wish it was back.
2. Join a CrossFit or functional fitness gym. Because these facilities are often times housed in warehouse space, many are not temperature controlled, and many more include inside/outside components to each workout. Plus, you’ll get to workout with a group – and everyone knows workouts are more fun with a friend.
3. Try out a winter sport. Especially if you live somewhere with mountains, trying out skiing, snowboarding, or another winter sport can be a great way to get into outdoor workouts while doing something exciting and fun. Even if you live away from mountains, you can try things like snow-biking, or even going ice skating. It isn’t outside, but it’s still cold!
How do you workout outside during the winter months? We’d love to hear your ideas on our Facebook or Instagram pages!