How Winter Running Improves Your Health and Performance

Winter running dc physical therapy



Do you love to run but can’t bear to do it in the cold? Just because it’s the winter, doesn’t mean that you’re relegated to the treadmill or some other indoor activity in its place. There are actually some upsides to continuing your favorite pastime during the winter months. Some of which actually make cold weather running a bit more attractive than you may think.

Vanquish Visceral Fat

Studies have shown that cold weather running decreases the amount of fat that you maintain in your body. The human body has various types of fat that at one point or another can be converted into ATP to be used as energy or fuel during activity. Consistent cold weather running affects the more dangerous fats, the visceral fat, more commonly associated with LDLs and VLDLs. Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs and leads to increased risk of coronary artery disease. Increased physiologic health in and of itself is a great reason to take to the cold streets.

Train Your Breathing

Along that same theme, cold weather running is a great way to keep the weight off and your body toned through the winter. Cold weather running is good for building endurance and improving body composition. By continuing to exercise outdoors during the winter, you are giving yourself the opportunity to train your breathing in such a way that your body can sustain such activity. An improved breathing pattern is a solid benefit to a runner which will pay dividends in the warmer months.

Eliminate Overheating

Running in the cold also decreases the amount of heat stress on your body. This is especially important for distance runners as they are exercising for prolonged periods of time. It is actually easier to run in some colder temperatures. Some of the powers that be have added credence to this fact. For instance, the Chicago Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon are both held in October while the New York Marathon is held in November. It is definitely on the colder side in all three of the cities that these races are held in at that time of year. There may be something to this running in cold weather after all.

Above are just some reasons that can help get you out the door for that run you so desperately want to go on but fear facing the cold. You’re not alone, so get out there and take advantage of some of the positive results that come from cold weather running. You never know, you may just train your way into a personal record.

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Tim Vidale
Clinic Director at Therapydia DC
Dr. Tim Vidale is a native of Youngstown, Ohio and brings with him a wealth of clinical experience and an immense sports background. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University where he was a 4-year, Division I track and field athlete. He went on to attain his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Rutgers University. Since his graduation, he has settled in Washington, D.C. and continued to hone his craft of Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy. Dr. Vidale is an astute physical therapist who is involved in the community and invested in multiple endeavors. He is an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Howard University and is the Chief Physical Therapist for the DC Slayers Rugby club. He has trained with the Olympic Sports Medicine team and is an on-call provider for the United States Olympic Committee. Dr. Vidale is also a published author, with publications in internationally distributed text books and scholarly journals. Dr. Vidale is trained in Functional Dry Needling and is well versed in treating a multitude of injuries and pathologies but specializes in running analysis, runners, running related injuries and sports performance. He believes that every person’s injury should be treated as if they were preparing for the Super Bowl because everyone wants a speedy recovery. Dr. Vidale mentors youth and opens his clinic to students or anyone interested in learning about the profession.

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