6 Reasons Why Exercise is Even More Important in Winter

Now that the clocks have turned back to standard time, it gets darker and less appealing to exercise in the evening. According to research, 48% of people find it much harder to stick to their exercise routine in winter. But investing the time and energy it takes to keep your fitness program on target, especially during these dreary months, will pay off in the long run. Besides the well-researched health benefits of exercise, there are other rewards. Here are some of them:

  1. Injects energy. According to Stylist, oxygen and nutrients are moved around the body more efficiently during exercise. A study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that just 20 minutes of light movement produces a significant reduction in fatigue.
  2. Boosts mood. Studies have found that running for 15 minutes or walking for an hour can beat depression, which increases during winter months, says Harvard Health Publishing. “We saw a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity,” said the author of one study. Karmel Choi, clinical and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said the best way to measure physical activity is to use an activity tracker so you have an objective measure of how much you move.
  3. Aids emotional processing. While both running and walking are mood boosters, running helps activate networks in the brain involved with emotional processing.
  4. Facilitates problem solving. According to Stylist, there’s nothing like a brisk walk or jog to help solve a particular problem. A 2017 study published in the journal Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine found that regular physical activity can improve our problem-solving abilities.
  5. Eases aches and pains. Sitting at a desk all day can lead to lower back pain and stiff necks and shoulders. We know that certain forms of exercise, such as yoga, can help loosen muscles, but research shows that any type of exercise helps bring blood flow and nutrients to the soft tissues of the body, improving the healing process and reducing stiffness.
  6. Helps build strong connections. You may have enjoyed meeting friends for a walk in the park during the pandemic not only for the exercise, but also for the interaction. This is a great way to connect with friends as you support each other’s workout goals this winter.

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