A lot of people have probably already started their attempts to get healthy in 2019, and while many will do that indoors in a gym, where the temperature is controlled, some crazy folks may actually attempt exercising outside in the cold. So, is working out in frigid temps good for the body?
Well, a Dutch athlete named Wim Hof argues that it is. He swears by a routine that involves a combination of meditation, breathing exercises and immersion in icy cold water, saying that it allows him to control his body temperature in extreme cold, and notes that exercising in the cold makes people healthier.
But it turns out, scientists don’t necessarily believe that to be true. It’s suggested that exercising in the cold helps people increase their levels of brown fat, which is said to be “good” fat, and burns calories and generates heat. But experts warn the number of calories folks will actually burn from that extra brown fat is relatively small, maybe 100 to 200 calories a day, and that’s really only for someone who’s cold all day, not for a short period of time.
- Folks in the cold could also burn calories by shivering, but experts note that while they may start out shivering, once they begin exercising folks warm up, so that won’t help much. Plus, they note that most people are miserable when they are shivering, so what’s the point.
- In the end, scientists suggest there is little evidence that exercising in the cold weather will help you burn more calories or make you healthier, so if you hate the cold, stick to your indoor workouts. It’s not important where you do it, just that you do it.