Running For Weight Loss In The Winter Months

Running for weight loss has always been an optimal way trainers have encouraged people to get healthy. For all the gym memberships people pay for and all the home equipment consumers purchase, nothing seems to shed the pounds quite as fast as running. Coupled with watching food intake, a dramatic change can occur in just a few short months.

During the warm months of spring and summer, it is usually not that difficult to find the time for running. However, as the days of autumn cool and days shorten in the winter, running for weight loss does not seem near as exciting. In fact, many times the cold of winter can erase any benefits one had gained from running during the warmer months.

[Image by Martinan/iStock]

It is at this time of year that many trainers take to the web to give advice on how to stay motivated and warm when enthusiasts want to continue running for weight loss. Athletic Weekly caught up with personal trainer Matt Roberts to discuss what runners should do to stay motivated during the frigid months.

Roberts’ number one tip for staying motivated in find something to run for.

“Find your deep reason for running. Dig a little bit deeper than some of the more superficial reasons like weight loss or general fitness. Ask yourself why losing weight or being fitter is important to you.”

“Once you’ve found a deeper reason why, write it down and stick it somewhere so you will see every day. This little daily nudge should help to keep you motivated.”

As temperatures continue to plummet, one has to keep in mind there are certain items they may not normally need that become essential to stay healthy in the winter. Roberts offers up what he feels runners should keep with them at all times to avoid cold weather trouble.

“Compression tops and bottoms that sit well under your usual running kit are great for the winter as they keep you warm without making you feel restricted. I would also recommend wearing a beanie or head band as well as high visibility kit such as the DHB reflective run jacket.”

If one still needs reasons to get motivated to brave the elements, Shape magazine has sat down with health experts to give reasons why running for weight loss in the winter may be the best thing for you. According to exercise psychologist Tom Holland, cold weather running is actually ideal for you body.

The colder the weather, the less heat stress on the body, which makes it significantly easier to run. Running in hot and humid weather is extremely taxing on the body–there is a reason why the majority of marathons are held in October and November.

When most think of winter, their minds go to the holidays. While the holidays can be a time of happiness and friendship, it can also be a time of depression. According to a study done by the journal Environmental Science and Technology, people who exercised outdoors in the winter reported increased energy, decreased feelings of depression, and a stronger likelihood of repeating their workouts.


According to Holland, it is also important to continue working out during the winter months for more superficial reasons.

“Many people wait to run until the weather warms up, attempting to get beach-body ready when it’s too late. Running in the cold ensures that the weight will come off long before the clothes have to!”

Are you continuing to run for weight loss in the winter, or have you decided to take a break during the holiday season?

[Featured Image by Georgijevic/iStock]