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Why you should be exercising OUTSIDE in winter: The surprising benefits of working out in cold weather revealed - including more energy and faster weight loss

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 5/06/2019 Emilia Mazza and Michelle Cheng

It can be incredibly difficult to find the motivation to exercise during winter, however, doing so can come with a surprising number of benefits (stock image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited It can be incredibly difficult to find the motivation to exercise during winter, however, doing so can come with a surprising number of benefits (stock image) They say 'summer bodies are made in winter' - but finding the motivation to get out of a warm bed and exercise outdoors can be a challenge.

However, doing so can reap a surprising number of benefits which include burning calories faster and a much-needed mood boost.

Those willing to brave the cooler weather to get their heart pumping are likely to feel more up beat and also find an overall improvement in their performance. 

1. Exercise can stave off the winter blues

It's a known fact that less sunlight during the winter months can lead to Season Affective Disorder - a type of depression related to changing seasons.

While you might only be experiencing a slight dip in your overall mood, if you're looking for an effective way to pep yourself up, you can't beat an exercise induced endorphin boost.

Make sure pick a time to work out that's early enough to allow you the opportunity to enjoy the sunlight. 

This will replenish your system with Vitamin D, a vitamin from the sun that can help with mood.

The other benefit of exercising early is you're less likely to opt out because you're tired after work and it's too cold.

2.  Cold weather burns more calories

If weight loss is your goal, then you'll be pleased to discover cold weather has been found to burn more calories.

According to Sporteluxe, research shows working out in the cold can burn more calories than if you were to do the same amount of exercise in a warmer climate.

The reason for this is because your body is working harder to regulate your core temperature if you are among the elements.

This results in more fat and calories being burnt to ensure you have enough energy to get you through your workout.

a woman standing in a room: If you're looking for an endorphin boost during winter, consider exercising - and early in the day (stock image) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited If you're looking for an endorphin boost during winter, consider exercising - and early in the day (stock image) 3.  Expect your performance to improve

If you're prepared to face the elements and exercise outdoors you'll be rewarded with improved performance.

One study showed that marathon running, in particular, was affected by the warmer weather with runners reporting slower speeds when it was hotter.

Other research carried out by St Mary's University in London found that cold conditions bring a runner's heart rate down by six per cent, as less blood is pumped out to the skin to dissipate heat.

According to Professor Brewer, who carried out the research, while it may be nice to work out when the sun is shining, your body starts to overheat 'so it has to cope with producing energy to get from A to B and also to keep you cool.'

4. Exercising in winter can boost energy

Vladimir Mravec, head ocean swim coach at VladSwim, told FEMAIL one of the top benefits to exercising in cooler weather is a boost in energy.

'Your body produces really good adrenaline, which means you have a really good feeling after cold water. The other thing is you prevent yourself from being sick because your body is dealing with all the symptoms much easier and much faster,' Mr Mravec said previously.

In his experience, Mr Mravec has seen his swimming pupils develop better energy levels over time.

'They start feeling much more energy, a lot of energy after the swim, they're not getting so tired during work,' he said.

'The other thing is, they can mentally go away from all the busy days, or all their problems, they can splash everything off from the body or mind,' said Mr Mravec.

5. Train yourself for the cold

Bedding down a routine in winter can be tough, but there's a proven way to build endurance.

Mr Mravac recommends fitness enthusiasts try 'cold blast training' as a method of building resistance to training in colder weather.

This involves having your regular hot shower first and finishing with a minute long blast of cold water all over your body.

While it may be uncomfortable at first, he simply advises that people 'accept the cold water'. 

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