We get it. There’s roughly three minutes of daylight from December-March, and the temperature outside isn’t exactly enticing. If you are managing to exercise (you go!), you’re likely doing it inside at a gym or on a mat. But we’re here to tell you it’s time to take it outside. In the coldest, darkest season, every second of outdoor time matters. Here’s why.
It’s good for your feelings
Ever heard of SAD? The aptly-acronymed Seasonal Affective Disorder is far more common than you’d think. If you find yourself tired, lethargic, and overeating this season, you might be affected. And one easy treatment is – you guessed it – going outside. Even a quick walk can do wonders for the January blues.
The sports are better
As Mainers, we’re partial to the sports that require the worst weather conditions. There’s something uniquely satisfying about making yourself sweat when it’s below freezing! Taking off layers of gear during an ice hockey game or a powder session really makes you feel like you earned it. And we all know a cocoa-and-Netflix binge feels WAY better after a day in the cold.
It burns more calories
Yes, it sucks to put on three layers to walk outside. But fortunately for you, that walk may just burn more calories than if you took it in the summer! Because your body has to warm the air that you breathe in, your workout burns a few extra calories than it would otherwise. If you’re debating that winter morning run, remind yourself that it’s extra worth it this time of year! Just make sure to fuel up with some extra Redd, you calorie-burner, you.
Sure, you could exercise inside at the gym or in your living room. But remember that friendly ball of gas, the sun? It misses you. Research shows that just 10-15 minutes of sun exposure every day provides crucial health benefits. Plus, you need that Vitamin D! And isn’t it more satisfying to say that you get your nutrients directly from the source?
You’ll be more productive
How productive are you after 9 hours of starting at your computer, 350 tabs deep, on your third side project? (Here’s a guess: not very!). Winter is a great time to hunker down and work, but a person can only work for so long. Get outside for a crucial reboot of your brain and body. When you come back, your work will still be waiting. And it’ll be much easier to tackle.
What’s your favorite way to get outside during the winter? Send this article to a friend who needs a gentle reminder that life doesn’t end when the mercury drops.