If you are someone whose mood goes down with temperature, hate carrying a thousand layers of clothing or have had the fantasy of creating a travel agency that offers only warm destinations, we should hangout. But cold is not always avoidable and should not stop us from staying in shape. So today, I’ll give you tips to continue with your workout in winter.
Everything is harder in the cold. Getting out of bed (why is the damn quilt so heavy?); working (if I think too hard all the blood goes to my head and my feet freeze). And, worst of all, setting foot outside the door. So today I’m going to show you the antidote for this. It’s a remedy that goes right back to the origins of the human race; it’s cheap and very healthy. Yes, you guessed it. It’s movement!
Movement accelerates your metabolism and burns calories produce internal warmth in bone marrows to counteract the cold outside naturally. The increased metabolism level is maintained for several hours, especially if you do high intensity workouts (HIIT). So it’s advisable not to break your workout in winter. This article reminds us about how fast you lose your fitness levels when to stop exercising. It’s takes time and hard work to build up your fitness level, but it hardly takes any time to lose it.
I can assure you that after one 7 minute Mammoth Hunters session, you’ll want to turn off all the heaters in the house.
Why should we continue to workout in winter?
We’re not the only species that has to fight the cold during the long winter. All mammals are known to be a homeothermic (warm-blooded) species. This means that for our physiological and metabolic mechanisms to function properly, the body temperature needs to remain constant around 100 ºF or 38 ºC.
When the body temperature drops, our brain starts to work on the mechanisms we need to keep up body temperature and increase heat production. These mechanisms consist of shivering, constriction of the blood vessels under the skin and increasing metabolic heat.
Do we burn fat in winter?
The ability to generate heat depends on breaking down a kind of fat known as ‘brown fat’. This tissue is quite unusual. It was thought to be present only children, but in recent years it has been found in adults as well.
This tissue develops in adults when exposed to cold environments and is thought to be responsible for regulating body temperature. What is more relevant for us is that its production is linked to a reduction both in obesity and a better blood sugar regulation. So if we seize the opportunity to kick-start our own internal heating system by working out outdoors in winter we can improve our fat burning ability and do away with the need of an “operation bikini” before summer.
I must emphasize that to keep brown fat tissue in place and benefit from its activity, we must make our body use it regularly: that is, we need to be exposed to the cold. If we stay home with heating turned up and exercising only in a warm gym during winter, this tissue will atrophy and disappear. So we will lose one of our most powerful weapons against putting on weight.
To conclude, we could say that there is a real fireplace inside our bodies that not only keeps us warm, but also keeps our metabolism functioning properly.
Don’t let your thyroid become underactive
The thyroid gland is responsible for raising body temperature. It is this gland that induces the use of brown fat to produce heat. This gland, in turn, is involved in all the other hormonal processes and its alteration can cause weight disorders, decreased energy levels, skin problems and even infertility.
And do you know what happens when we are always warm with external heating and stop exercising? The lack of activity makes the thyroid rusty and struggle to carry out its functions. Eventually, we find ourselves in the state known as ‘sub-clinical hypothyroidism’. That means we’re in a state where the thyroid gland doesn’t want to work any more. (If you would like to know more about this clinical condition, I recommend an extensive interview with an expert on this subject).
Tips for your winter workout
If I have convinced to come out to the street to workout, then I leave you five tips to make the experience as rewarding as possible:
- Internal heat instead of external cold
Warm up gradually before you start your workout or before a competition. The heat you generate will help you resist the cold from the beginning of your routine and you’ll be able to perform better. We have seen that many users skip the warmups during their Mammoth Hunters workouts. Make sure you complete them during winter.
- Think that cold has never stopped athletes
Northern countries get really cold, however they produce outstanding sportsmen and women. The Soviet Union topped the medals table in 6 out of their 9 Summer Olympic appearances. So it must be possible for them to keep up their training.
If Rocky can do it, so can you.
- Look after your hands, feet and head
As the cold intensifies, blood flow concentrates in the centre of the body. So the extremities – arms, legs and the head – are most vulnerable to freezing. Wear gloves, thermal socks, scarf and a hat – it may be a drag, but it greatly improves the experience.
- If you feel cold, workout harder!
It’s easier for the body to recover its temperature at higher intensity, so take the cold as a real sign of encouragement for you to increase the intensity. If you feel like giving up, here are some tips to keep you motivated!
- Remember your mom’s advice
When you’ve finished the workout, go back inside straight away and take your wet clothes off. The last thing you want is to have to stop working out because you caught a cold!