Jobhop Jobhop's blog : The Importance of Getting out of the Office for Fresh Air - Even When It's Cold
On November 22nd, hop on your bike, take out your car, or simply put your walking boots on because it is Go For A Ride Day!
Go For A Ride Day encourages you to get out into the world - hop into your car, on your bike, or simply get your walking boots out of storage and go on a trip. Don't worry too much about where you're going, just enjoy the journey. What with all of the phone calls and emails constantly intruding on our lives at work, we can all agree that everyone needs some time to just get away from it all and feel free every now and then. And what better way to do that than to just go for a ride?
Daily exercise is important no matter what time of year it is, but in the winter it's especially hard to stay motivated. When temperatures drop, it's far less comfortable outside, not to mention the hassle of all the extra layers. If you have children, you understand how much work it is to clothe all members of your family just in order to get out the door.
The excuses are easy to come by when it's frigid and staying inside the office at lunch where it's warm is very appealing, but research shows that the extra hassle is worth it, not just because exercise is essential for good health, but because getting outside and moving in the cold weather is extra beneficial for both adults and kids.
From improving your mood to burning more calories than exercising in other seasons, winter exercise brings a host of benefits. Read on to find out the reasons why it's important to get out of the office for some fresh air during the colder months...
Exercise is more effective
If you walk, run, or bike during the rest of the year, but take it easy during the winter, you are missing out on a major fitness boost. Because your body works harder to warm itself up when in cooler temperatures, physical activity during the winter can burn more calories than during other seasons and your heart works harder too.
Make sure to wear light layers to stay warm without overheating and make sure your hands and feet have protection from the elements.
Keep the winter blues away
It has previously been proven that a walk outside can reduce stress and improve your mood. This is especially needed in winter when most of us suffer from at least some form of winter blues. The shorter days and the grey, cold weather that keeps us inside majorly cuts our exposure to sunlight, which means our Vitamin D and serotonin levels drop.
Making a daily practice of getting outside and soaking up sunlight can dramatically improve the mood of children and adults alike. The serotonin boost from daylight coupled with the endorphins produced from exercise will have you feeling less stressed and happier.
Prevent colds and the flu
Cold and flu viruses infect so many people during the colder months because we're all cooped up inside together, therefore it's easier for the viruses to pass from person to person. Getting yourself outside more during the colder months can keep you well for two major reasons.
The first is that spending time outside instead of indoors cuts down your chance of catching a virus in the first place. It's called fresh air for a reason!
The second is that studies suggest that regular moderate exercise can boost your immune system, meaning even if you're exposed to those nasty viruses, your body will have a better chance of fighting them off.
You will feel happier and more energised
Cold weather exercise also has the ability to boost one's mood, thanks to the lack of humidity (which creates that heavy air feeling in the warmer months) and the stimulating aspect of the chill. As the body works harder to stay warm, the amount of endorphins produced also increases, leaving you with a stronger sense of happiness and lightness following a walk in the cold.
Improve memory and attention
Going outside relieves stress and boosts your mood, but it turns out that time spent outdoors can also improve memory and attention span. It has been found that being outside in nature has similar benefits to meditating, which has also been shown to improve cognitive performance, and that those improvements happened whether it was warm and sunny or cold and grey.
This is a great benefit for adults because it could also mean better performance at work.
You'll get a dose of Vitamin D
Sure, it may be cold, but that doesn't mean the extra sun exposure won't supply you with the same critical nutrients it does throughout the warmer parts of the year. The relative benefit also feels more substantial in the winter time since the amount of natural light is already so restricted. Just remember to wear your sunscreen (yes, even when it's freezing) after your skin is exposed for 10 to 15 minutes.
More energy and better sleep
The darker, colder days can leave us feeling fatigued and sluggish as though we can't even get enough sleep. Regular exercise though can both improve your energy levels during the day and help you to sleep more soundly at night so that you feel well-rested.
Exercise has been proven to increase energy levels for hours after you've been active and that extra exertion during the day means that your body will more readily fall asleep and stay asleep at night.
Take time for walks during your lunch break or after work and you will have much better mornings and nights.
Venture outdoors for your lunch break this autumn/winter and get some exercise. You may be surprised at how energising and enjoyable the cold weather can be. Just remember to wear layers and drink plenty of fluids!
In: Kyria Bush Jobhop.co.uk
Kyria Bush Jobhop.co.uk