The benefits of cold training

This week we have proposed to take away the laziness of the first cold and get you out of the house. The cold, the rain and the wind, those weather “demons” that lurk in our heads every time we have the intention of leaving the blanket to activate our body. They are the angels and demons that are around when making the decision.

Well, we have no choice but to recommend that you never open the door to the demons as they will try to pull you and always think that those good angels watch over your health so that the cold does not get in the way of exercising.

And science is on the side of the good guys. Research tells us that running in the cold is not only not bad for you, it is also beneficial. Running or practicing any sport outdoors when it is very cold has many more benefits than you thought : physical capacity, endurance and muscle strength are improved and, in addition, more calories are burned . Do you need any more reasons to slam the demons down?

We share both the benefits and the precautions to take to train with shivering thermometers.

Running with cold makes you lose more

Do you know what we have always thought that you burn more calories the hotter it is and that you lose more weight? Well, this is not only not true but quite the opposite since sweating more does not equal burning more fat . In other words, when the thermometer goes down, our body consumes more calories, precisely to compensate for this thermal drop. According to experts, there is strong evidence that exercise and cold activate a “good” type of fat that burns calories.

According to Carolina Pérez, a nutrition specialist from the Quirónsalud Hospitals Obesity Unit, “when the thermometer marks 25ºC to 30ºC ambient temperature, our body does not need to consume energy. But when it drops, the body tends to produce “brown adipose” tissue, good fat that burns energy and glucose and produces the heat necessary to maintain body heat.

It must be taken into account that half of the calories we eat are aimed at maintaining body temperature: in this way, if it is cold in the environment, we need to generate more calories. Therefore, when you lower the thermometer, the body starts a whole series of processes to counteract it, which can cost up to 30% of the total energy budget of the body. And the more fat we dedicate to it, less likely we are to suffer from diabetes, overweight or obesity.

Thus, low temperatures “activate” the consumption of fats that help you lose weight.

How do you fit? Well, there are more benefits and reasons for you to put on your shoes and go out to train below zero.

With little danger of dehydration

Logically, in winter and with cold temperatures the body needs fewer resources to stay hydrated. Thus, the risks of having dehydration are greatly reduced if, for example, we are running. However, remember to always be well hydrated in winter. The extra effort generates a significant loss of water that must be compensated to avoid the onset of fatigue and reduced performance.

It strengthens the immune system

An article published in Journal of Applied Physiology found that exposure to cold under the effects of exercise increases the number of leukocytes and granulocytes, responsible for the functioning of the immune system. It is a fact that outdoor training improves our immune system and even more, some research carried out, such as that of the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, suggests that training in a cold environment can reduce the possibility of suffering from the flu. up to 30%.

Precautions for doing sports in the cold

Despite all the benefits that we have told you about when exercising in low temperatures, we also have to take certain precautions into account:

  • The warming should be more exhaustive on these dates. With cold, muscles and tendons contract and we have a greater risk of injury if we have not previously worked on them.
  • If you can, practice sports at noon , that is, when the temperature is milder. Also take into account factors such as the wind so that if you go running, start facing the wind, so the thermal sensation when you return with fatigue and sweat will be softer.
  • In this link we give you the keys to the clothing necessary to run in the natural environment when the weather conditions are adverse. At this time the so-called “three-layer theory” comes into play, the main objective of this theory is to keep the body dry, avoiding both sweat condensation and humidity from rain or snow, while ensuring the maintenance of body temperature and insulation from cold and wind.

The benefits of training with cold

  • Although it is cold, we are doing the same exercise as in summer and it is necessary to hydrate the body before, during and after. We have already commented that it may seem that we are not trying hard because sweating is different but do not be fooled.
  • Of course, when you get home, relax with a good hot shower and restorative.
  • In short, running in the cold should not scare anyone, it is even a beautiful way to see and enjoy different landscapes if, above all, the surroundings are covered with snow.

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