I live in Minnesota, and for the foreseeable future, we will be in Minnesota for the long winters. I also run daily and am a big believer in running outside. We can get really cold with temperatures dipping to -20f (-28c) and running outside can be challenging.
I find the cold weather brings a feeling of invigoration and excitement. Running in the cold provides a sense of relief from the summer heat and humidity. But, something else I have discovered is that running in the cold isn’t just about feeling better. It brings many benefits, from improved performance to better physical and mental health.
I have experienced that running in colder temperatures makes me feel faster and more energetic. This is because the cold air helps increase the oxygen flow in the body, allowing for more efficient energy use. Additionally, running in cold temperatures can also help to reduce fatigue and increase endurance.
There are mental health benefits to running in colder temperatures. My experience is that running in the cold is a great stress reliever. It provides a sense of calm, clarity, and focus that can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. I have been known to close my eyes and run on a snowy flat trail. (I am also known for falling on snowy flat trails with my eyes closed)
In fact, studies have shown that running in colder temperatures can help to reduce stress hormone levels in the body.
Running in the cold helps to boost your immune system. Studies have shown that running in cold weather can increase the production of white blood cells, which help fight off disease-causing pathogens. Furthermore, running in the cold can also help burn more calories, benefiting those trying to lose or maintain weight.
My experience has been fewer colds and a healthier winter!
Finally, I find that running in cold weather provides an excellent opportunity to explore nature. In the winter, many trails and paths may be covered in snow and ice, making for a more challenging and exciting running experience.
Overall, running in cold weather can significantly boost performance and physical and mental health and explore nature. So, the next time you’re looking for a new running challenge, why not bundle up and hit the trails?
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