You’re standing outside waiting for a bus in the freezing cold, shivering and wondering if there’s anything good about your situation. Maybe being cold helps you lose weight? After all, it makes sense, as your body needs to work harder in cold weather to maintain its core temperature. But exactly how many calories do you burn by being cold? Keep reading to find out.
Like a lot of aspects of biology, the answer to the question above is counter intuitive. Although it makes sense on the surface that one should burn more calories in the cold, studies have indicated the exact opposite. It is true that you burn more calories in cold weather whilst in a resting state. However, if you start exercising and increasing your heart rate, your body’s temperature rises just as easily in cold weather as in warm weather, without requiring extra energy. In fact, the body uses a lot more energy in warm weather to cool the body to its nominal temperature after exercise, than in cold weather. So you actually burn more calories exercising in a warm environment.
So remember, if you stand still or sit outside, you will burn more calories the colder it is. But if you plan on doing some cardio, opt for the indoors in winter, it will benefit you more than being outside – not to mention that you are putting yourself at risk of catching a cold exercising outdoors in winter.