A new study shows that taking a walk in a wintry setting can boost self-confidence.
An international team has found that spending time in a snowy environment can improve people’s perception of their own bodies. While previous studies have shown that green areas, like parks and forests, and blue areas, like lakes and rivers, can improve body image. The new report is one of the first to link ‘white spaces’ to body self-image.
The researchers sent 87 women in small groups into a snowy forest. The participants had an average age of 24 years. Before and after taking a walk in a snowy area in Silesia region, Poland. Each participant completed a form of her body appreciation and answered a questionnaire which aims to determine the link between nature and self-compassion. The study found that spending a short time in a snowy landscape, in this case around 40 minutes, had the power to stimulate appreciation of one’s own body.
“These characteristics of natural environments are believed to limit negative thoughts related to appearance and divert attention from an aesthetic view of the body to a greater appreciation of its functionality. write the study authors in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Here’s why you should opt for winter walks:
Improve your mood naturally.
Nothing can match the power of fresh air and sunshine. Both are good for morale and help overcome the winter blues. Not to mention that this breath of fresh air will allow you to clear your mind while reducing your stress level.
Cut the Calories.
Sure, we like to walk for our general well-being and fitness, but burning a few extra calories is a must. Because your body is also working to stay warm, research suggests that a walk in cold weather burns more calories. So if you’re walking to lose weight, pick up the pace and kickstart your winter walk.
Activate your immune system.
Studies have shown that walking outside in winter can wake up your immune system and reduce inflammation. All it takes is 30 to 45 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a day to increase the number of immune system cells needed to fight off winter colds.
Fuel up without the caffeine.
A walk in cold weather has been shown to lead to a significant energy boost that lasts for hours after the walk. So when the eyelids start to droop in the middle of the day, ditch the beer for a brisk walk.
Change your body fat percentage.
During the winter, our body works hard to stay warm. And what helps it do that is brown fat. This study shows that prolonged exposure to cooler temperatures helps convert our white fat, which causes obesity, into brown fat, which has warming and metabolism-boosting properties. This is a sporting challenge that we can support!
Discover a different world.
There’s something about a fresh snowfall or cooling air that helps us gain a new perspective. As you take your winter walk, notice the change in scenery. The sound of your footsteps. And the creatures frolicking in their warm winter coats. You might rediscover why you love your surroundings.
Winter often gives us cleaner air. The reduction of pollutants and external allergies gives us the opportunity to breathe deeply and offer our body a fresh, soothing and purifying breath.
Fall asleep faster.
We all know that cooler temperatures help you sleep better. As well as winter walking, your body temperature takes less time to cool down. You may notice that it’s a little easier to fall asleep at the end of the day. This will allow you to spend a more restful night.