At Cairnhill Physio, we want you to stay on the move. Whether we achieve that through our range of services or through some gentle motivation to keep you exercising, we believe you must stay as active as you can. That includes getting out and about during winter. It is obviously more difficult to keep your motivation when the temperatures plummet, but research suggests that exercising in cooler weather has a lot of benefits.
For example, cold weather might improve your endurance and the efficiency of your exercise because your heart doesn’t have to work as hard in lower temperatures, you sweat less, and expend less energy.
Studies also reveal that exercising in cold weather can turn white fat, especially belly and thigh fat, into calorie-burning brown fat. As a bonus, your winter workout will expose you to more sunlight, which can reduce the occurrence of seasonal affective disorder, which is a form of depression experienced by some people during winter months.
While we are firm believers in cold-weather exercise being the perfect tonic for body and soul, it is important you check in with your doctor before getting out, particularly if you’re on certain types of medication, or if you have conditions like asthma or heart problems. While we’re talking about precautionary measures, c old muscles are at a greater risk of strains and injuries, so be sure to warm up properly by doing some dynamic stretching such as arm circles, arm swings, high steps and lunges.
During cold weather, blood flow will concentrate within your body’s core as a way to help keep you warm. This leaves your head, hands, and feet vulnerable to the cold so wear warm gloves, heavy socks and a woollen cap or beanie while you’re exercising on a cold day. And while winter weather might not make you as thirsty as during summer, you still need to stay hydrated.
One final thing. If you’re walking during winter, ensure that the route you choose gives you safe and solid footing; what is easy to walk on during summer could be totally treacherous in winter. It might be a good idea to invest in some new shoes that have great traction, as well as a pair of walking poles for added support.
By staying fit and active during winter, you’ll be less likely to need our services. But if and when you do need us, remember that we’re a Kingsland physio in Auckland with onsite parking for your convenience.