Do you love to run but can’t bear to do it in the cold? Just because it’s the winter, doesn’t mean that you’re relegated to the treadmill or some other indoor activity in its place. There are actually some upsides to continuing your favorite pastime during the winter months. Some of which actually make cold weather running a bit more attractive than you may think.
Studies have shown that cold weather running decreases the amount of fat that you maintain in your body. The human body has various types of fat that at one point or another can be converted into ATP to be used as energy or fuel during activity. Consistent cold weather running affects the more dangerous fats, the visceral fat, more commonly associated with LDLs and VLDLs. Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs and leads to increased risk of coronary artery disease. Increased physiologic health in and of itself is a great reason to take to the cold streets.
Along that same theme, cold weather running is a great way to keep the weight off and your body toned through the winter. Cold weather running is good for building endurance and improving body composition. By continuing to exercise outdoors during the winter, you are giving yourself the opportunity to train your breathing in such a way that your body can sustain such activity. An improved breathing pattern is a solid benefit to a runner which will pay dividends in the warmer months.
Running in the cold also decreases the amount of heat stress on your body. This is especially important for distance runners as they are exercising for prolonged periods of time. It is actually easier to run in some colder temperatures. Some of the powers that be have added credence to this fact. For instance, the Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon are both held in October while the New York Marathon is held in November. It is definitely on the colder side in all three of the cities that these races are held in at that time of year. There may be something to this running in cold weather after all.
Above are just some reasons that can help get you out the door for that run you so desperately want to go on but fear facing the cold. You’re not alone, so get out there and take advantage of some of the positive results that come from cold weather running. You never know, you may just train your way into a personal record.