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Is Working Out in the Cold Good for You?

Exercising outside when it’s not warm and sunny might be a good option for you—here’s why it may be beneficial.


If you don’t live in sunny San Diego year-round, you might not have a choice but to work out in the cold. So, it’s important to be aware of the effects before you step outside. Here are some of the questions and answers that you need to know before exercising in the cold:

Does working out in the cold burn more calories?

Because your body has to work harder to regulate its core temperature in the cold, the number of calories burned will be more than exercising indoors. This is something to keep in mind as you try to keep your weight down in the winter. Your body works harder in the cold than it does in moderate climates.

Does it train your muscles, respiratory system differently?

Your body responds differently to working out in the cold to working out in warm weather. If you’re someone who suffers from asthma, cold weather may trigger an asthma attack. The cold, dry air can take a toll on people with weaker lungs.  

Even if you don’t have asthma, there’s a good chance your body will constrict blood vessels when you’re in the cold. On the other hand, cold weather does make your heart work harder, which strengthens an already healthy heart. Regular cardio activities in the cold will help your body be stronger overall.  

Related: 30-minute Workouts to Stay Fit During the Holidays  

Is it worth it to exercise in the cold?

While it may seem difficult to work out in the cold, it’s worth your while. You’ll be able to maintain a great metabolism that will help you keep off pounds that come with holiday meals and treats.  

Regular cold-weather workouts will make your heart stronger and strengthen and tone your body. You’ll also feel better mentally and emotionally from the release of endorphins that come with regular exercise.  

Related: 3 Reasons Why You Should Use a Foam Roller  

Does your diet need to be different for cold weather workouts?

Your body uses a lot more energy to regulate its temperature during cold weather workouts. Although you may feel like you don’t have to drink as many fluids when it’s cooler weather, you still need to hydrate. The best thing to do is drink water throughout the day and bring a full insulated water bottle with you so you can drink water during your workout. Remember that dehydration will always prevent you from performing at your best.  

As for your food intake, focus on eating fresh, nutritious foods. You’ll continue to need quality food that will provide you with the necessary calories, vitamins, and minerals required to keep your body in peak condition all year long.   While you’re here, check out our other healthy living articles.  


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.


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Joshua Jamias is online marketer and freelance writer. He is a sports enthusiast and enjoys creating health and fitness content.