As winter approaches, and the temperature drops, it can be hard to find the motivation and energy to workout outdoors. The California cold may not be arctic in nature, but in many cases, it can still be a deterrent to an outdoor workout.
But before you pack up your gym clothes for the winter, consider this – working out in cold weather can actually be more efficient and can deliver a better performance for you, helping you achieve your goals sooner.
Let me explain by talking about something we are all familiar with – our cars. Believe it or not, the factors that affect our peak performance are the same factors that affect our cars.
Have you ever gone for a drive early in the morning, or late at night when the air is cooler, and asked yourself, “Does my car feel stronger today?” It’s proven that cars perform better in cooler weather. In fact, many car enthusiasts will modify their engines to feed more cold air directly into their combustion chambers.
Here’s why – cold air is denser than hot air. The air we breathe is a collection of molecules that are constantly in motion. As the air heats up, the motion of the molecule increases, creating more void in between each molecule. Imagine, if you will, a tray full of marbles, which each marble representing a molecule of air. Now start shaking that tray. As the marbles start rolling around and colliding into each other, notice how much empty space is being created on the tray. Now, imagine that same tray of marbles, without the motion. You could probably fit more marbles onto the tray to fill the voids, thus increasing the volume of marbles (or air molecules).
Our bodies, similar to car engines, perform better when there is a higher volume of air. Cold air is denser, and will provide a higher volume of air. Unlike cars, we don’t have the luxury modifying our bodies to feed more cold air into our lungs. What we can do, however, is to time our exercises to be exposed to cooler air.