Exercising in the Cold Helps You Lose More Fat

We’re the first to admit that our social media team might not be what you would expect from a health and wellness company. While we like staying healthy and care about our diets, we’re not slaves to the gym. We don’t love exercise, and we don’t get excited about fitness regimes. We want to stay fit and active for our health, but we would be thrilled to skip leg day in favor of a movie marathon.

It can be difficult to still to a fitness plan on chilly days. We would much rather stay inside with a blanket than go out and get our steps. But, some new research is giving us a good reason to exercise more in cold weather. It might give you a push, too, if you have been looking for some motivation to get moving on days when you’d rather stay snug inside!

The study came from Canada. They used a group of moderately fit but overweight adults. Scientists split the group in two and had them perform the same workout at two different temperatures. Half the participants did the routine at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and half did it at 32 degrees. The people who worked out in the cold burned 358 percent more fat!

When they tested people’s blood sugar after breakfast the next morning, the researchers saw no difference in their blood sugar responses to food. The scientists were hoping there might be a lasting effect. While there didn’t seem to be one, it’s still great news about the impact of the exercise itself!

You should speak to your doctor before working out in the cold to know if it’s safe for you. It can put more strain on your heart than working out inside. But, if it is safe, you can use this to either burn more fat during your workout or cut down the length of your workout and get the same results you would from a longer session indoors.

Working out outdoors helps you spend more time outside in general, which is good for your mind as well as your body! And, you get more sunlight, which allows your body to make vitamin D and boost your immune system. Getting outside as little as 20 minutes a couple of times a week can increase your levels of vitamin D. But, for that to happen, sunlight needs to hit your skin, which is less likely when you are bundled up against the cold. That’s why taking a vitamin D supplement can be helpful in the winter. Being outside can also boost wellbeing and ease stress.

So, if you’ve been finding it difficult to workout recently, shake things up by taking your exercise outside into the cold. You might find it makes your mood brighter. And the science shows you’re helping your body a lot more than you realized! That might be the extra motivation we all need to get moving.

Banner image: Evan Hein via Unsplash

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