Throughout the winter, there is no shortage of cold weather activities to choose from. You might go skiing, skating, snowshoeing, sledding or simply take your walk or run outdoors. These are more than just fun winter pastimes. A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolismfound that cold weather workouts could burn more calories compared to those done in warm weather.
While exercising outside in the winter can be perfectly safe, it does require some extra precautions. The physiological and metabolic impact of exercising in cold weather can be intense. The body needs to work harder to perform in a harsher climate and be able to generate adequate heat to keep warm.
When the body is exposed to a significant change in temperature, elevation or intensity, its initial need for energy increases, so it breaks down glycogen, a form of carbohydrate, in the muscles. So, it becomes increasingly important to optimize nutrient intake before, during and after cold weather training/workouts to ensure adequate repletion of energy stores and optimize muscle function.
Fuel Up Consistently
The number of calories an individual burns during any exercise depends on many factors, including his or her level of physical fitness, height, weight, body composition, age and the type of exercise. After the first hour of activity, a carbohydrate-rich snack should be consumed every 30 to 60 minutes to replete energy during exercise. Some great snack options would be a protein shake, a peanut butter sandwich, orange slices,a banana, an energy bar, ortrail mix with dried fruit.
If you plan to continue exercising the same day or the next day, eat a carb-and-protein-rich snack within 30 to 60 minutes of completing your workout. This will replete glycogen stores in the muscles and stimulate muscle repair. Recovery foods include a protein shake,low-fat chocolate milk,a fruit and yogurt smoothie,graham crackers with nut butter, or an apple or banana with nut butter.
Your body will fatigue faster in the cold weather without adequate fuel. While physical activity in the cold requires more nutrients, exercising in cold weather will not necessarily cause an individual to burn more calories than in a temperate climate. Generally, exercising generates enough heat that the body should not have to engage in additional heat-generating mechanisms that burn calories, such as involuntary muscle contractions through shivering.
Hydrate Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
Dehydration during cold weather exercise carries the same risk as it would when exercising in the heat, but a person will not feel as thirsty. The cold diminishes thirst by up to 40 percent.
Respiratory fluid loss and sweat (which can be less noticeable under winter layers than in the summer) also contribute to dehydration. When you breathe in cold, dry air, your body warms and humidifies that air. When you exhale, the vapor you see is actually fluid loss. A good rule of thumb is for every hour of physical activity — in the cold or in the heat — the body needs 16 ounces of water.
Be Aware of Hypothermia and Frostbite
Exercising in cold weather can put the body at risk of hypothermia, which occurs when body temperature drops below 95°F. Consider the wind chill when preparing for cold weather activities. Plenty of layers and moisture-wicking clothing are the best defense, along with limiting exposure.
Frostbite can cause permanent damage to the body as skin, nerves and tissue freeze at the site of injury. A person’s extremities, such as their hands, feet, ears or tip of their nose are most vulnerable. Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than thirty minutes. Gloves, warm socks and hats are good protection from the cold.
How Cold Is Too Cold to Exercise Outside?
To avoid hypothermia and frostbite, move your workout inside if the temperature drops below 0°F or the wind chill reaches -17°F. You are unlikely to get frostbite when the temperature is above 5°F and the wind blows at less than 25 mph but that risk increases substantially as the temperature drops and wind speeds pick up. Exposed skin can develop frostbite in 30 minutes at a wind chill of -19°F.
To achieve peak athletic performance in cold conditions, research shows that consuming the right nutrients early and often and hydrating even when you are not thirsty will go a long way. Layered clothing to provide insulation and protection from the elements, as well as avoiding extended exposure to cold, will also protect you from certain dangerous conditions.
'tis the season for SHORTBREAD!
2 cups of strawberries (sliced)
20 tsp. of stevia
2 cups of flour
½ tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of baking powder
½ tsp. of baking soda
2 scoops of Muscle Feast Vanilla Concentrate
½ cup of butter (cut into small cubes)
½ cup of skim milk
2 tsp. of vanilla extract
A/N almond milk