In the battle between chilly winter days and year-round runners, recent research suggests that the advantages of cold-weather running might just tip the scales in favor of the frosty jog.
While the idea of a winter run might send shivers down your spine, cold weather has several health benefits you’re just not going to get when running while it’s nice and warm outside.
That’s because running in cold weather reduces heat stress on the body, making a winter jog potentially more comfortable than its summer counterpart. Higher body temperatures in warmer conditions can increase exertion and strain on the heart, lungs, and metabolism.
On the flip side, winter running can boost your metabolism precisely when cold temperatures prompt your average metabolism to slow down, aiming to conserve fat. According to Blomgren, winter jogging tricks the body into halting this slowdown, aiding in maintaining a healthy weight.
Brown Fat vs. White Fat: The Metabolic Game-Changer
Scientific evidence suggests that exercising in cold temperatures can contribute to the conversion of “bad” white fat to “good” brown fat. White fat is linked to inflammation and insulin resistance, while brown fat acts as metabolic tissue, burning calories and promoting overall health.
Still there are some essential cautions for cold-weather runners:
- Dress in appropriate layers.
- Opt for sweat-wicking fabrics over cotton or wool.
- Wear a head covering.
- Stay hydrated before and after your run.
- Beware of hidden ice on running paths.
- Consider a nose and mouth covering to warm the crisp air, facilitating easier breathing.
Even the most resilient winter warriors should exercise caution during sub-zero cold waves and remain vigilant for signs of frostbite while braving the cold.
So, lace up those winter running shoes, dress wisely, and hit the cold paths — your body might just thank you for it!