Does the thought of running outside in the wet or cold make you want to dive back into the warmth of your favorite blanket? If you love to run, know that you don't have to be stuck on the treadmill during winter. There are some upsides to continuing your favorite pastime during the winter months. Some of which make cold weather running a bit more attractive than you may think.
Reduce Visceral Fat
Studies have shown that cold weather running decreases the amount of fat you maintain in your body. If you weren't aware, the human body has various types of fat that at one point or another can be converted 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.
Train Your Breathing
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 greater amounts of 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 reduction is especially significant for distance runners as they are exercising for prolonged periods of time. Furthermore, it is easier to run in some colder temperatures. If you think about this for a minute, consider when a few of notable marathons take place. The Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon are both held in October while the New York Marathon is held in November. It is unquestionably cold in all of these cities at that time of year.
These are just a few reasons to help get you out the door for that run. 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.
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