It is chilly outside, but while some of us will hang up our sneakers until spring’s first 5K, others will run straight through the winter, or they will participate in another outdoor sport. As autumn becomes winter, what will you do?
When the cool weather surfaces we like to sleep late, we tend to eat more and we generally slow down. We hibernate. But on some level, the cold weather brings challenges, and challenges are good.
The more we go outside in the cold, the more we can bear its wrath. Of course, it may take more than a few days to get used to the change. In his book Performing in Extreme Environments, Lawrence Armstrong claims that it takes between 8 to 14 days to acclimate to a stressful environment. Of course, one can hardly call 59 degrees—the temperature it is right now in Central New Jersey—stressful. So adapting now, before it gets too cold, should be easy. Still, when we are used to the heat, the sudden drop can be disturbing so we go inside and bury ourselves under the blankets.
When we challenge our bodies, our bodies live up to it, and we are better for it. It may take a bit of a pep talk for us to get outside and get moving in the first place, but think of how good you will feel when you are back inside, knowing that you accomplished your goal despite the demanding conditions. Then take that long winter’s nap or sip a mug of hot apple cider and you will feel even better.