Why Do Fewer People Work Out In Winters?
Although winter is often referred to as the off-season for fitness, the reasons for the reduced fitness frequency and reduced desire for exercise have not yet been answered, and this change is not just laziness at work.
Lack of motivation
In a recent random interview with more than a thousand bodybuilders, most of them gave no more than reasons: “It’s too cold and don’t want to move, it’s hard to get up, it’s troublesome to dress and undress, and they don’t want to go out…” The reasons are further summarized. The lack of more motivation and stronger beliefs are the main reasons for the difficulty of winter fitness. However, there is no long-term and effective solution for the solution.
Workout at home
On the other hand, benefiting from the increase in the number of people at home in winter, major fitness apps, fitness bloggers’ winter fitness series courses, home plastic tips for fat reduction, and other topics may have the largest increase in traffic in a year. The goal of fitness in winters is to regulate the lean mass and keep the fat-muscle ratio balanced in the body. Body fat percentage can be analyzed easily using the latest software technology of 3D body scanners like Visbody.
Cold and low temperatures
Winter fitness is a “difficult problem.” The real reason is that cold and low temperatures cause adaptive changes in the body’s physiological functions and psychological state.
On the one hand, when exposed to a cold environment, the skin and core temperature decreases, leading to changes in the body temperature regulation mechanism. On the other hand, the body’s heat loss, lower limbs, and core temperature lead to the activation of the body’s defense and protection mechanisms, thereby keeping the body away from the cold.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
studies have shown that people are more likely to be depressed in winter. In winter, the light hours are shortened, and the human serotonin level gradually decreases, which indirectly leads to depression. This situation is called “seasonal affective disorder.” For example, people living in the Arctic Circle are particularly prone to “winter depression” due to the polar night. Therefore, the professional term is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
This kind of depression makes winter sports more difficult for bodybuilders. However, you can set up small group classes with a stronger sense of community and match sports and fitness partners in terms of solutions. Because at the psychological level, group exercises further promote the secretion of hormones such as adrenaline and dopamine, which can alleviate feelings of loss and improve people’s mental state.
Winter is an excellent time to exercise. In the cold winter, the calorie-burning efficiency is higher, which is more conducive to realizing the desire of the fat-reducing people to improve their body; the incidence of colds and other diseases in the people who regularly exercise in winter is significantly reduced.
Winter: Low Desire Season for Bodybuilders
Gym in winter
As the winter season sets in, the gym enters the off-season operation mode. Unfortunately, statistics show that from November to January of the following year, traditional gyms experienced a decline in performance, a decrease in the number of members attending the venue, and even the number of coaches training more than members.
Decrease in the frequency of winter fitness is in commen
The most critical factors are the decline in the number of winter fitness exercises and the reduction of fitness desire in cold weather. Unfortunately, the decrease in the frequency of winter fitness does not happen to minority groups.
According to the national social science data survey, 46.7% of respondents occasionally exercise in winter, 30.5% of respondents exercise regularly in winter, and only 11.8% of respondents exercise daily; compared with other seasons, 57.3% of respondents The frequency of fitness in winter has become lower, and 23.9% and 12.9% of the respondents with the same frequency and increasing frequency respectively;
In a further investigation, 56.6% of the respondents would exercise at home in winter, and 35.7% would exercise in the gym. However, survey data shows that the general public’s desire for fitness in winter has generally become lower, and “getting out of the house and entering the gym” has become difficult to perform in the cold winter.
Whether it is a gym or an outdoor sports venue, relatively few people are participating in sports in winter. This is the regular seasonal exercise. Unfortunately, it is also the exercise habit of most people with climate and temperature changes: exercise frequency and enthusiasm in summer are higher, and exercise in winter decreases.
Why Are We Reluctant To Exercise In Winter?
In the cold winter, changes in physiological and psychological functions allow the body to produce a self-protection mechanism to resist the intrusion of severe cold. The physiological processes of the human body that adapt to changes in temperature are the “black stones” for winter fitness.
Swift changes of hormonal
During winters, our body is greatly affected by the swift changes of hormonal. This primarily happens because of a change in the circadian rhythm, particularly light and darkness patterns in the external environment. The cortisol levels rise in the dark and cause a series of disturbing and anxiety-like symptoms. Melatonin and TSH levels increase while the serotonin levels drastically decrease which is basically the happy hormone. The happy hormone drops and gives rise to gloomy feelings.
Body's physiological function changes
In a cold environment, the human body’s physiological function changes. The reduction of exercise ability can easily lead to the loss of body fluids, the sudden appearance of exercise fatigue, and the decline of exercise performance.
In a low-temperature environment, the convective heat transfer between the core of the body and the skin, subcutaneous fat, skeletal muscle, etc., is reduced, causing the surrounding skin to contract vasoconstriction and skin blood flow. The process of vasoconstriction will lead to a decrease in the secretion of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). , Resulting in faster fluid loss. The overall body composition scale along with the fat mass can be effectively measured through the method of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).
The vasoconstriction reaction causes the temperature of the surrounding tissues to drop. Whether it is a drop in the body temperature of the body part or deep, exposure to the cold environment will increase the body’s metabolic heat production, increase active mitochondrial oxygen, etc., which may adversely affect the body’s exercise capacity.
In addition, the functions of the cardiovascular system, the body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen, the metabolic capacity of skeletal muscle, and the efficiency of neuromuscular conduction, which are closely related to sports performance, will all undergo adaptive changes under low-temperature environments.
Seasonal psychological changes
Seasonal psychological changes are essential to “difficult fitness in winter.” Cold weather affects human mental health. In winter, the days become shorter leading to imbalances in the body’s biological rhythm and endocrine. As a result, the serotonin (serotonin) synthesis inhibits, and melatonin secretion increases. Serotonin is a “mood stabilizer,” an important neurotransmitter that regulates the emotional stability of the human body.
Due to biological rhythm disorders, most people will experience depression, exhaustion, and other conditions. These conditions even cause psychological problems such as loneliness, depression, and anxiety. These changes are collectively referred to as seasonal affective disorder (Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD).
The seasonal affective disorder usually occurs in late autumn and winter. The common symptoms of patients are listlessness, depression, carbohydrate cravings for diet, social fear, and reduced desire to exercise. According to surveys, women, middle-aged and elderly groups, introverted, sensitive and vulnerable people, and people who work indoors for a long time are more likely to have a seasonal affective disorder.
Insist on Exercising and Fitness to Drive Away the Winter Melancholy
The benefits of winter fitness are not just improving immune function and reducing the chance of getting sick. The human body exposed to a low-temperature environment will have specific acute and chronic physiological reactions. The acute reactions brought by cold exposure include vasoconstriction, brown fat cell activation, etc. The increase in metabolic rate is the main chronic physiological reaction.
Brown fat cells are easily activated under low-temperature conditions, which will cause more energy to burn and produce heat. It’s a favorable condition for balancing human metabolism under low-temperature conditions. Therefore, in terms of chronic physiological reactions caused by low temperature. Winter fitness can significantly promote the body’s metabolic rate and maintain a higher resting metabolic capacity.
For example, residents of the Circumpolar Regions maintain a higher resting metabolic rate than subjects in temperate climates. It allows them to maintain a higher skin temperature in a cold environment. What’s more interesting is that in a warm environment, the metabolic rate of the residents also increases significantly. Exercising under cold conditions will cause the body to produce more obvious metabolic adaptations.
Exercise promotes the body to release serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, etc. It induces individual emotional stability and promotes physical and mental health balance, relieving stress. It helps the public maintain a happy mood for the winter.
The body composition will only remain at its excellent phase if you maintain it well in winters too. This can be pointed out from the reliable and most suitable body composition analysis techniques. Winter fitness has many benefits, but the execution is relatively complex for most people. And strong psychological motivation is the first step in the winter fitness drive.
Fitness tips in winter
- Motivation stimulates and maintains human performance and develops achievable sports goals based on motivation. For example, if the squat weight is more than 1.5 times your body weight or you lose ten pounds. It develops a practical training plan with a weekly unit, firmly implements it, and adjusts it in time.
- Wearing comfortable and well-made fitness clothes is essential for entering the gym in winter. Before each workout, choosing the right outfit can maintain a long-term sense of pleasure during the fitness process.
- Choose a small group class you like and stick to it. Consumption is a massive motivation for winter fitness. Join the club group class, make friends with like-minded sports, or follow the team’s goals.
- Consume micronutrients that help fight anxiety and depression-like symptoms. Vitamin C is beneficial in improving such symptoms. People who have less amount of Vitamin B12 in their bodies tend to suffer more from distressing situations. Sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin B include apricots, almonds, dry fruits, and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. All of these foods are abundantly available during winters. Vitamin D supplements and caffeine intake have shown improvements too.
- Finding a long-term training partner is an effective method, and training with friends will improve the quality of training. In addition, partner training strengthens the individual’s awareness of the internal competition. Besides plays an important role in assisting protection, sharing, and communicating training experience.
In addition, maintaining regular daily sleep, keeping warm and protecting before, during, and after exercise, and avoiding long exposure to the cold are all considerable issues for winter fitness. Regular exercise and working out on those chilly days are the best ways to drive away from the winter blues.