No matter how motivated you are it is still difficult to throw on you winter running gear and head out that door. Taking that first step is sheer torture especially in the cold and snowy winter. It is easy to convince yourself to stay inside, lay on the couch and stream Netflix or Hulu on TV.
Don’t let winter weather make you a prisoner inside you own home. Enjoy the benefits of running in winter. Here are four benefits of running in the winter that will make you want to lace up those sneakers, pull on the old stocking hat, zip up you jacket and get moving!
Chases Those Winter Blues Goodbye
The number one benefit of running in the winter for me is chasing those winter blues goodbye. How many times in the winter have you experienced cabin fever, felt sad or depressed? I would say at least a couple of times per week. The winter blues are not much fun.
There is not a better way of clearing your mind and thoughts than running in the cold. The exhilaration you experience from sucking down lung fulls of cold air during a winter run is magical. It is guaranteed to make you feel alive and energized as those winter blues melt away in the cold fresh air.
Another added benefit of running outdoors in the winter is it allows your body to soak up the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D which is needed for strong bones. The feel of warm sunshine on you face no matter what the temperature is a great mood changer.
Develops Your Endurance
Have you ever run on the snow or ice? What did you experience? If you are like me I slip and slide around. All the muscles in my body are required to work as a team just to stay upright. You are exercising a number of other muscles in your body to counter the s
lipping and sliding around. This is why that sometimes after a run in the snow your muscles are feeling tired and sore.
The muscles in your body will become stronger and more flexible as you run on slippery and uneven conditions on winter. Running in the snow is a great way to build up your endurance. Lifting your legs up and down in the snow will force your leg muscles to work even harder to keep pace driving up your level of endurance.
Beats The Battle of The Bulge
I don’t know about you but I am always fighting the battle of the bulge especially during the winter months. The summer months are not far away and the image of putting on my swimming trunks and walking around in front of everyone at the beach is terrifying. Running is free and a great way to keep off those excess pounds you tend to gain in the winter.
Have you ever wondered why you start to shiver in the cold? Shivering is the body’s way to make your muscles shake to help heat your body up. In the cold, you body works harder to maintain you core temperature and as a result burns a few more calories. Winter running not only helps burn those unwanted pounds but keeps you fit and raring to go.
Develops Mental Toughness
What is mental toughness? When I say mental toughness I am talking about that drive or willpower that empowers you to embrace difficult conditions with confidence. The more you test yourself by running in winter conditions the stronger you will become. It does not require a great deal of mental toughness to run on a sunny 70 degree day in the summer. Just about anyone can do that.
Braving the elements on a cold, wet winter day is to say the least challenging. I have often struggled with taking that first step. Testing myself by running in the winter has helped me develop a toughness that goes far beyond just the winter months. I found that I now have that toughness to push myself to run longer distances and faster times in those warmer months runs. The more frequently you test your ability the more confidence you build to challenge the world.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t let a little snow or brisk temperatures keep you from experiencing the benefits of winter running. I challenge you to take those first steps of chasing those blues away while staying in shape over the winter months.