It has been one of the coldest, whitest winters in the U.S., with record lows, blizzards and plenty of snow. But instead of turning up the heat, or reaching for hot comfort food, go for a run outside. New research published in the journal Cell Metabolism suggests that exercising in cooler conditions can help burn more fat, and shivering alone can burn up to 400 calories an hour.
When people are cold, they release hormones from brown fat stores, which are then released during exercise. Brown fat, as opposed to white fat, burns calories instead of storing them. It is a healthier type of fat. Dr. Paul Lee from the University of Sydney said activities that produce more brown fat can lead to successful weight loss.
The study used individuals in different exercise tests with cold exposure. It was found that when you shiver you stimulate fat tissue to produce heat. So being cold and shivering especially while exercising can lead to burning more calories.
So instead of cursing the bitter cold months, it’s time to embrace their fat-burning potential. Instead of gaining the dreaded winter weight, go for a run outside. Or better yet, cancel that gym membership and go for outdoor bike rides.
Shivering can help you loss that weight by burning those additional calories, but remember, no weight loss program works continuously unless you commit yourself to lifestyle changes of eating better and moving more.