As winter approaches, fitness buffs in cold weather states have a decision to make. Do we hunker down in the gym? Or do we brave the cold and find ways to keep working out outdoors?
Workouts in extreme cold can be dangerous to your lungs, but done safely, cold weather workouts are healthier than hot weather ones. This is why "cold gyms" are the new “hot yoga.”
But why go to a cold gym when you can just go outside? In a way, it’s a chance to supercharge your workouts. In cold weather, your muscles have to work much harder than they do in warmer weather. So running the same distance will achieve greater results.
Cold weather workouts are also healthy for your heart. Cold weather constricts your arteries, slowing blood flow. By exercising in the cold you strengthen your heart muscle and help oxygenate your blood more efficiently.
Finally, the biggest benefit of cold weather workouts is fat burning. Exercising in low temperatures burns substantially more energy, and reduces the bad kinds of fat. One study found that people who are acclimated to exercising in the cold had less brown fat than others.
Working out in the cold can be painful, but it’s great for your health. Since it can be shocking to the body at first, the most important thing to remember is to layer up and stay safe.