Before you venture outside during these cold winter months, to walk, run, stretch or stroll, are you ready? Are you ready for the blasting wind, the freezing temperatures, ice, and snow? The fact that after being outside, even for a few minutes, it might take you a while to feel your fingers and toes again? Are you ready to exercise in our cold climate?
Now more than ever, we need to get outside. We need the fresh air to fill our lungs and bring us energy so we can finish our to-do lists, care for our loved ones, and most importantly, care for ourselves. Being outside, even during the cold winter months nourishes our bodies and soul to such a great extent. Once practiced and practiced well, you will realize that you can’t go through your day without spending some time outside.
Even after all of this is over, don’t be surprised if you continue this #healthyhabit even though your gym has reopened.
Before I even ask “are you ready?”, I know there is one question you are dying to ask!
Why Do I Need To Exercise Outside? It’s freezing!
Who else than to ask the people at @theAkiraConcept for their point of view? They sure have a lot to say about taking care of your body. Check out The Akira State Workbook for a more in-depth analysis. The following is just a taste of why we need to exercise during the winter months.
But It’s So Lovely Inside!
I can see you. Standing by your window in your cozy clothes. Holding your warm cup of deliciousness in between your hands. You admire what’s out there (the snow, ice, and wind) but so appreciate where you are right now (all cozy and warm). Who wouldn’t want to stay exactly where you are?
I would. But not for long. You’ve got to get out there and move your body.
Moving your body, such as taking a brisk walk outside during the winter can elevate your mood. Do you know that “blah” feeling when you sit in your PJ’s all day and feel tired for no reason? Especially for those who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Walking outside can help. Big time – as you welcome the brisk fresh air into your lungs along with the Vitamin D when the sun is shining.
Make your workout double its impact! Unlike the warmer months when you’re body is already at an ideal temperature, when you are outside amongst the cold air, you are making your body work harder to keep yourself warm. Beginning to shiver? Not to fret! That just means that you are working hard to keep your body temperature up, which means you are burning fat.
Let’s talk about the vagus nerve. Yeah, I had no idea what this was either. This guy is located at the bottom of your brain and is responsible for the parasympathetic nervous system which calms us down after we are in the “fight or flight” mode. Like when we see a bear in the woods and have to run for our lives? The Vagus nerve is responsible for a lot in your body, but one of its main jobs is to reset your immune system and manage inflammation, which can occur during long periods of stress.
Gee, has anyone you know been stressed lately? 😉
How do you take care of this Vagus nerve? Expose yourself to cold. Drinking and splashing your face with cold water is a great start but to really rev things up, get outside and immerse yourself in our delicious (it’s all about perspective!) cold climate! When you train your body to adjust to cold, your sympathetic system or “fight or flight” decreases and your parasympathetic system (calming) increases. How amazing is that?
Putting It Into Practice
I say all this now, but do I walk the walk? I couldn’t write this blog without standing up to what I preach. This morning, during my run, I wore a hat and neck covering combo that resembled a bank robber, but I didn’t care. The main thing was that I was dressed to face the cold so that my mental health remains strong and my metabolism and immune system have a good boost. Was it hard? I’m not gonna lie. Making the move to exercise outside for a long period of time wasn’t easy, but once I was out there, I really enjoyed it. And when I got back inside, heck I can’t lie. I liked that, too. Especially my hot shower afterward. Know what I realized? I can do hard things and you can too.
Don’t stop here with winter exercise! There’s so much more to learn about taking care of your body. From what to eat, (no fad diets here! Just good, nourishing #KindFood) to invigorating and relaxing exercises you can do at home. Is there more? You bet, but see for yourself! It’s all here in The Akira State Workbook.
I’m so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to write what I’m passionate about and what I think will serve others. If you would like me to write about you and your passions for the Braves The Waves Journal, or for your own company, please be in touch.