In the Before Times, I was a frequent gym-goer. I’ve always felt more accountable in a fitness class. But the Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed my workout habits. Because I live in a small Brooklyn apartment, most of my exercise happens outside. I was worried about how the cold temperatures would affect my ability to get cardio exercise, but it turns out exercising in chilly temperatures is not so bad. (Especially when you’re wearing a warm mask!)
It also turns out there’s compelling science to support exercising in the cold. As Markham Heid reports, as long as you take precautions, cold temperatures can actually make your workouts more efficient. Exercise produces body heat, and the body has to work to regulate that temperature. This is why exercising in high heat or humidity can feel so miserable. Exercising in cooler temperatures can be more optimal for the body performance-wise.
The Surprising Benefits of Exercising in Cold Weather
As long as you take precautions, you don’t need to hibernate in the gym this winter
Claims that working out in the cold can lead to changes like weight loss, however, are overblown, as my colleague Dana Smith reports. So do not go on a winter run for that purpose. Rather, if you’re looking to push yourself a bit harder and run a bit longer — working out in the cold might be worthwhile.