Happy Wednesday everyone! When the winter air is crisp and the ground is covered with snow, there’s nothing like taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of the season — and walking is one of the best ways to keep fit. Just because the trees are bare and there’s a chill in the air doesn’t mean you have to forgo your daily walks outside for the dreaded treadmill (otherwise known as the “dreadmill”). Anything but! In fact, outdoor walking during winter may have surprising benefits such as:
It can strengthen your bones: Sun exposure triggers vitamin D production in the skin, and bones need the “sunshine vitamin” to make the body absorb bone-strengthening calcium properly. Not getting outside during winter months slows down production and decreases the body’s store of vitamin D. Going for a winter walk and getting 15 minutes of sun on your face and hands two to three times per week should suffice for getting enough sun for vitamin D production.
It can improve your mood: Spending time with friends walking can have positive effects on your mood and decrease perceptions of pain. A University of Washington in Seattle study of 112 women aged 19 to 78 shows that women who took a brisk, outdoor walk for 20 minutes daily had better mood, higher self-esteem and an improved sense of well-being at the end of the eight-week study. Personally, I love catching up with my friends with a nice winter walk.
It’s motivating: You’re more likely to complete a walking workout outdoors than on a dreadmill simply because once you get halfway through your walk the only back is to walk. With a dreadmill you can hit “stop” and hop off any time.
It burns a ton of calories: Outdoor walking through the park or around the neighborhood on a cold day won’t burn any more calories than walking on a warm summer day, but walking in the snow will because it’s harder to move your feet in the snow, and you have to lift your legs a little higher.
With the cooler weather fast approaching, I’ve teamed up with Bench. Canada to show you some ways that you can stay warm this winter. In these pictures I’m wearing:
Disclosure: Bench. Canada generously provided me with a gift card to buy an outfit of my choice.
What’s your favorite way to stay active in the winter?
Do you like walking in the snow?