Why is it important to practice a sport even in winter?

For many people the lowering of temperatures represents an obstacle in practicing a sport, for many others, however, low temperatures are not a problem because the body produces heat when moving.
Who do you stand for? Below we will explain our point of view on this.

The benefits

  • First of all, in winter, with the shortening of the days and the decrease in sunlight, the symptoms due to mood disorders increase, as for some forms of depression, and doing physical activity improves the mood.
  • A second factor pushes to maintain good levels of physical activity in cold weather, as physical activity strengthens the immune system and therefore helps to fight seasonal ailments like colds and the flu.

Necessary cautions

People who are in good health generally have no problem with cold temperatures.
Even children can play and run outside in low temperatures but unlike adults they tend to disperse heat more quickly and therefore cool down earlier. The advice is not to leave the children outside for a long time.
People who have some pathologies such as cardiovascular problems require more attention so it is preferable to consult your doctor.
Keep in mind that you must never overdo it to be able to benefit from physical activity.

Weather conditions

To do outdoor activities, from a simple walk to a bicycle excursion, some weather conditions must be kept in mind.
It is strongly not recommended to practice physical activity in conditions of frozen and wet ground in order not to incur dangerous slips, in rainy conditions as wet clothes make it difficult to maintain an adequate body temperature, in the presence of wind as it penetrates into the tissues and subtracts body heat, making you feel much colder than days with the same low temperatures but no wind
Finally, with the arrival of winter and the shortening of the days, practicing physical activity in the dark could lead to problems of poor visibility and safety.
running winter

Appropriate clothing

One of the most relevant aspects of outdoor physical activity is how to dress. If you cover yourself a lot, you risk sweating too much, staying with damp clothes and feeling cold. If you dress too lightly, you feel cold right away. The belief that sweating makes you lose weight must be dispelled, what makes you lose weight is physical activity energy balanceit is useless, even harmful, to cover yourself with non-breathable clothing or plastic sheets. The weight that is lost by sweating during training is only water that will be replenished by drinks and food, and sweating too strains the heart. The solution is to dress in layers, or "onions". After a few minutes of light activity, the body begins to produce heat and some clothing is superfluous. At this point, the outermost layers will be removed. When the activity is finished, you get dressed. The amount (weight) of clothing to wear also depends on the build, in general, slimmer people tend to feel cold faster than overweight people. The fabric of the clothing contributes to maintaining the temperature, the three layers should be:
  • The first layer , the one in contact with the skin, must be breathable to be able to quickly remove moisture from the body. In this case, materials such as microfiber are a good choice. On the other hand, you should absolutely avoid cotton, because this fabric stays wet for a long time and therefore continues to remove heat from the body.
  • The second layer can be represented by a fleece or from wool; the heaviness of the second layer depends on the external temperature and the type of activity carried out. The more intense the activity carried out, the less heavy the second layer will be.
  • The third layer , the external one, is represented by a windbreaker, waterproof and breathable. Although the fabric is breathable, however, the jacket does not facilitate air circulation, so it is better to wear jackets with some air intakes and / or adjust the opening and closing.
Garments that are too tight, which could hinder blood circulation, are unsuitable and should be discarded.

Hands and feet tend to get cold immediately. For the feet we recommend the use of thermal socks, possibly choosing shoes that are larger than the usual one. For the hands it is advisable to use a pair of gloves, better to avoid wool ones that let too much air through. In periods of extreme cold, a hat can be very useful not only to protect the forehead and ears, one of the body's vulnerable points, but also because much of the body's heat is lost through the head.
running city winter woman

Mistakes to avoid

  • the most frequent mistake is to dress too heavy because you risk sweating a lot and remain with damp clothes
  • the warm-up and stretching phase is often underestimated but in winter it must be done with careful attention so as not to incur muscle problems
  • in conditions of intense exercise it is important not to sweat too much because in the moments of recovery the cold is felt more.

Hydrate, like in summer

Although winter is not often linked to the idea of a cold drink, even in the cold it is necessary to hydrate well so as not to lose minerals. Indeed, the lower urge to drink compared to summer is another good reason to pay attention to this aspect. You need to hydrate before, during and after exercise. Water quenches thirst, without filling up with unnecessary sugars and calories, and is preferable to energy drinks.
Winter, physical activity or sport are badly reconciled with the consumption of alcohol, which is to be avoided altogether

Beware of the sun

In winter, on clear days, the sun can be strong and the UV index high and dangerous for eye health, it is a good idea to always carry a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. It is also useful to protect the skin on the face with a sunscreen especially if you are in the mountains.

In conclusion, the harsh climate is not in itself an obstacle to exercising outdoors. Cold winter days can allow for a lot of outdoor fun if you are properly dressed and physically prepared.
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