As we head out for our mid week matches in the cold, do we ever wonder, “am I burning more calories?” Well it depends how we think about it.
Do we wear the same amount of clothes in both seasons? If we go out and play in a t-shirt and shorts, same as the summer, we actually would burn more calories as well as our exercise, as our shivering is burning calories. So in our sessions our calories burnt would be those lost through exercise plus those our bodies used to stay warm.
Prefer a starting in a tracksuit ? Starting with cold limbs is not a good idea for many of us because of the increased risk of injury. Not to worry though, even if we wore more clothes we would still burn more calories because our skin would be cold underneath, by removing clothes as we start to warm up we can keep the body burning a few more calories to keep the skin warm.
BUT The Winter in General. Across the country many sports cancel their sessions because of the weather. In today’s society it has become a social norm that if it is raining or snowing, it must be cancelled. So there is less opportunity for us to keep active. And if we are not active we are often in and eating.
The Covid impact. When Covid 19 struck, sport was cancelled everywhere and the public in generally got used to sitting on the sofa on a cold February night and ordering a takeaway. And while many have returned to sport there is a large number that never will. And a kebab on the sofa definitely doesn’t burn winter calories and won’t be helping the now 26% of men and 29% of women classed as obese.
In conclusion, those of us that bring ourselves to participate rain or shine (even snow), will be much better off and will burn more calories exercising in winter. But the large volume of society gains weight through the same period.
So hats off to all of us who keep things going, all year. The organisers and the coaches who try there hardest to keep sport on for everyone all year around, no matter the weather. We might sometimes get criticised by the nah sayers but we are setting a great example that eventually our kids will also follow.
Let’s get ourselves out this week, yes it won’t be long until it warms up, but we’re missing the chance to make the most of our winter exercise.