Does Working Out In the Cold Burn More Calories?
Here’s your cheat sheet for stoking the furnace during winter workouts
Read the full article at: www.outsideonline.com
There’s even more scientific evidence accumulating that working out in the cold can help you burn more calories:
Brown fat is a type of fat that helps us regulate body temperature, so it would make sense that its formation might be stimulated by cold temperatures.
Transforming Fat Cells
Just this year, a study published in Nature showed that regular exercise can produce a hormone that converts fat cells from the lazy kind to the kind that burns calories.
The formation of this metabolically active, so-called “brown fat”, is also stimulated by cold temperatures.
In fact, The Joslin Diabetes Center has a special workout called the “Joslin Coolout” that uses cool temperatures to specifically activate brown fat.
The effect of shivering on calorie burn is well known. Shivering generates a lot of heat so its a major calorie-burner. Most of these calories come from the depletion of muscle glycogen. but since shivering is a sign of hypothermia, its not a good way to burn calories.
There is, however, another effect called “non-shivering thermogenesis” which may help you burn more calories in the cold.
I have noticed a psychological effect as well, when it takes some extra effort at the beginning just to get my muscles and joints warmed up. Once I do get warmed up, I find myself motivated to work harder just to break a sweat, because doing so in the cold requires more effort and somehow feels a lot more rewarding.