Does the idea of putting on a pair of fitness walking shoes and grabbing your Nordic walking poles during the winter leave you cold?
Even if it's harder to motivate yourself to go walking when it's cold, the following 5 good reasons to keep walking in winter will change your mind!
- You use more calories when it's cold
It's a well-known fact that we all tend to eat more in winter than in summer to combat the cold. If you are worried about your figure in winter, remember that your body will use more calories when it's cold, to warm yourself up.
The cold therefore stimulates the consumption of calories in addition to the exertion due to the exercising of your muscles (thighs, buttocks and arms) during fitness walking as well as Nordic walking. A good reason to set foot outside?
- Doing sport when it's cold exercises your heart more
Walking, which is a gentle activity that improves endurance, helps to boost the capacity of your heart. When it is cold, the body tries to maintain a roughly constant internal temperature of 37°C by promoting blood circulation. The heart therefore pumps harder and becomes stronger.
"When it's cold, you need to set yourself lower targets and keep warm if you suffer from heart problems. The heart will work harder than usual thereby consuming more energy than it would normally consume. This will deprive your muscles of some of this energy. Take it easy" - Dr. Patrick Bacquaert, IRBMS
- Doing sport in winter means you are less often ill
Doing fitness walking and Nordic walking in winter and the exertion needed to do this means your body will gradually get used to the cold. This will benefit you: by strengthening yourself against winter microbes, you will get ill less often!
But make sure you equip yourself properly to carry on walking in cold weather.
"When the temperature drops below -5°C, avoid going outside to do sport since this is when winter sport starts to be dangerous for you and your health!" - Dr. Patrick Bacquaert, IRBMS
- When outdoors, you benefit from the natural light and the open air!
Even if it's cold and the sun doesn't look like it will come out, it's essential to spend some time in contact with natural light to keep up your spirits. You will also enjoy some fresh air! So don't hesitate to make the most of your lunch break to go walking. This combination helps you get rid of tension, sleep better and hence deal with seasonal depression!
- It's free
It can never be said too often, but unlike a gym subscription, all you need for fitness walking and Nordic walking is a pair of shoes designed for fitness walking, and some Nordic walking poles if you walk with poles!
As for the rest, parks and gardens are at your disposal whenever and with whoever you want, meaning you can feel on top form throughout winter!