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The Advantage of Exercising in Winter (1/2)

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Part 01 of 02: Why winter might be the best time for you to drop body fat.

If you are thinking about slacking off your exercise and nutrition routine now that the cold months of winter are here, you might want to think again and not for the reason you might think.

Winter is almost here and when it’s cold and miserable out, it can be hard to stay motivated about your fitness.

…we tend to want to stay indoors and hibernate, meaning we eat more and do less.

A 2012 study [1] from the NSW Food Authority and NSW Health found that over winter, the average Australian adult gains anywhere from two to five kilograms of unwanted weight.

The study, one of the first to investigate winter eating habits in relation to fast food and snack consumption also found:

  • 90% of Australians eat more fast foods, snacks and takeaways during winter because doing so makes them feel ‘warmer and happier’.

  • 59% accept that any weight gain over winter will be due to eating more fast food and snacks and exercising less.

Nearly four in ten women (38 per cent) and one in two men (53 per cent) are expected to gain up to five kilograms over winter says the Dietitians Association of Australia.

And the really bad news is that we might not lose those kilos come springtime. Swedish researchers found that just one month of overeating can lead to weight gain that lasts for years.

What does this mean for you?

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers

  • Studies show the average Australian gains 2.5-5kg of extra weight over the winter months.

  • On average a person can sustainably reduce body fat by 150-200g per week.

This means, if during the 12 weeks of winter, you maintain your commitment to your health and exercise routine (we will further expand on what this commitment can be, in part 2 of this article series) – on average you will hit the warm weather of spring with 4–7kg less body fat than you would have if you gave into the cold and stopped doing your workouts… That’s a significant amount of body fat.

Plus, you will have a body you feel much more confident in for summer.

Not to mention you will have been stronger, healthier, and more successful in all other aspects of your life during the 3 months of winter.

Something to think about when it’s blustery and cold out and that sneaky voice whispers in your ear – “It’s so cold out, maybe I’ll just skip this workout and stay indoors.”

Part 2 of this article series will outline some tips on how to stay motivated and approaches you can take regarding your exercise during the colder months.



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