If you’ve ever looked out the window on a cold, wet day and wondered, “should I skip my morning run?” scientists have an answer. Go. You’ll probably work harder and burn more calories while you’re at it.
A study by Japanese researchers published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine took seven guys and put them in climatic chambers that replicate weather conditions.
Researchers had them run in cold, rain-like weather conditions versus no rain for 30 minutes, measuring breathing, skin temperature, oxygen consumption, muscle exertion and stress levels.
No surprise, the guys worked harder and got colder in the rain conditions, but they may also have burned off a little more energy and felt cleaner.
Surprisingly, there are lots of studies on the effects of weather conditions on a workout. Many involve dousing study subjects with cold water or making them slog along a treadmill in freezing temperatures.
Some suggest athletic performance might be compromised, but that downside is made up for in increased fat-burning.
But the bottom line is there aren’t any real downsides to exercising outside, no matter how chilly it is.