Nov 29, 2023
Benefits of cold-weather running

Some year-round runners dread plunging temperatures, but according to recent research, the benefits of running in the cold weather outweigh warm weather running—and could help you burn bad fat, lose more weight, and make you feel better overall.

“Cold weather doesn’t have to force  indoors and I encourage my patients to continue safely running outdoors,” explains Dr. Joshua Blomgren, Midwest Orthopaedics at RUSH, and Aid Station Medical Captain for the Chicago Marathon. “Exercise is medicine, even in the winter.”

runningA recent story from Medical Xpress detailed the benefits of running in cold weather. Below is an excerpt from the Medical Xpress story.

  • Produces less heat stress. Recent research explains why running in the heat is more difficult. Higher body temps are associated with increased exertion, and cardiovascular, and metabolic strain.
  • Boosts metabolism. Our bodies are programmed to preserve fat, slowing down our metabolisms in response to decreased exercise. Running in the cold “tricks” the body, altering metabolism slowing down, and helping to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Elevates your mood. Seasonal Affective Disorder occurs when days are shorter and there’s less sunlight. It’s estimated that 6% of Americans are affected by SAD, and 14% may suffer from a milder form of winter blues. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals like serotonin and endorphins.
  • Helps burn more calories. Running burns significant calories and helps us maintain and lose weight in winter. It can help us live longer too. Runners have a 25–40% reduced risk of premature mortality and live an estimated three years longer than non-runners, according to Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.
  • Can turn bad fat into good fat. There are different types of body fat: white, brown, and shades in between. White fat is “unwanted” body fat. Brown fat is metabolic tissue that burns calories. Scientific literature suggests that exercising and exposing your body to cold temps can convert white fat to brown fat.

To read the full story from Medical Xpress, click here. 

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