Why is running when it’s cold good for you?
Shorter Days & Longer Nights…
With the days getting shorter and the nights longer, the dip in temperatures has us all reaching to switch on the radiators…
It’s also the time of year when I really try to amp up my running (or walking if you prefer that!).
I’m not going to pretend that I ‘enjoy’ stepping outside on a fresh cold morning but just because it’s getting colder, doesn’t mean you should stop taking to the pavements.
Just the other day I was talking with a client I used to treat who at the start of the year, had decided to take up running to live a more active life.
Each week, without fail he got outside and upped his mileage, and as a result, told me he’s feeling great!
He can now walk further for longer, doesn’t get out of breath when taking the stairs, and has a lot more energy throughout the day.
But the other day he said to me that now it’s got colder in the mornings, his desire to get out and run or walk is fading away – even though he doesn’t want to stop the habit he’s worked so hard to build!
And because I know a lot of people are likely to be feeling this way too, I wanted to share five good reasons why running or even walking in the colder weather is actually good for you, so you don’t STOP!
So lace up your running shoes, bundle up, and get outside to run after reading this…
Top 5 Reasons why running in the cold is good for you…
1. It’s The Ideal Weather For Running
Believe it or not, cold weather is actually ideal for your run or walk.
The colder the weather, the less heat and stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run.
When Running in hot weather it’s taxing on the body. Because you’ve got to hydrate even more and make sure you don’t overheat – there’s a reason why most marathons are held near the end of the year.
2. Running In The Cold Promotes Weight Loss
Going for a Run in the cold can actually burn more calories as the body has to expend more energy on staying warm.
During the Autumn and Winter months, it’s a lot more tempting to move less and eat more – so taking your run outside is a great way to maintain your weight, and shed some if you want to.
Beat those Winter Blues…
3. Running Can Keep You Feeling Great!
As the nights creep in, the level of serotonin which is the feel-good hormone in your brain falls quite significantly. This can bring on something called Seasonal Affect Disorder or SAD in some people. SAD makes you feel ‘blue’ or depressed and unmotivated during the day. And since serotonin increases in the light, getting out and about is a great way to increase the natural levels of this hormone. Read a blog on SAD & Winter Blues Here
Apart from this, running helps release other powerful hormones such as dopamine which help combat this ‘dull’ feeling, increasing positive mood states during the colder months.
4. It Strengthens Your Heart
Cold weather makes the heart work harder to distribute blood flow throughout the body. If you exercise on a regular basis, running in the cold can make your heart even stronger. And will help you prepare for your summer workouts, and not to mention, you’ll be able to run further for longer!
5. You’ll Keep In Shape!
Many people wait to run until the weather warms up, attempting to cram in their workouts and get in shape for their holidays. Maintaining your regular routine, no matter the weather, keeps excuses at bay and helps you stay on track all year round!
My big tip for making the most of your runs or walks:
If you’re running now it’s cooler outside, proper warm-ups and cool-downs are even more crucial to keeping the body in top shape and free from injuries. Be sure to stretch before and after runs, and even treat yourself to a sports massage, to keep your body free from any nagging pains and injuries.
You can always book a sports massage at the Clinic by calling 01285 654059 or click here to BOOK AN APPOINTMENT
So there you have it!
Five reasons why running (or indeed walking!) in the cold is actually good for you, and why you shouldn’t stop, even if the colder mornings aren’t so appealing!
Can one of our amazing physios help you?
If you have any winter aches, pains or queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01285 654059. Or drop us a message on any of our social media channels. Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn / Twitter.
You can book an appointment or speak to a physio here get in touch.
Let us help you to recover, re-gain your movement and be pain-free!
Thanks for reading…
Founder & Specialist Physiotherapist at the Markland Clinic