If you’re looking for an interesting supplement to your 2018 weight loss plan, look no further than the crisp Colorado air.
Of course, everyone knows that the best way to lose weight is by eating right and exercising. But studies say that one other unorthodox thing can help you burn calories, too: being cold.
It makes sense, I suppose. The very act of shivering is your body’s attempt to generate heat and stay warm in a cold environment.
When temps fall to 64 degrees (hardly a shivering temp for Coloradans), your body starts with a process called non-shivering thermogenesis (NST), where it’s trying to make up for the temperature drop by burning through its brown fat stores. But when temperatures drop even lower, your body eventually resorts to shivering thermogenesis, which expends energy and can increase your metabolic rate up to five times!
According to a study by scientists from Maastricht University in The Netherlands, “NST increases by between a few percent and 30 percent in response to mild cold exposure” in most people.
And they’re not the only ones to say this. The U.S. National Institutes of Health conducted a study whose results showed that being in the cold for 15 minutes could equal one full hour of exercise, as far as metabolism is concerned. Um, sign me up!
Of course, the total number of calories your body burns in the cold is dependent upon a variety of factors. Heavier, more “insulated” people (same) may not shiver at the same temperature that a person with lower body fat would. And what you’re wearing can make a difference, too.
But overall, it’s pretty safe to say that if you want to jumpstart your calorie-burning, cranking down the thermostat this winter is a great and easy way to start. Resist the urge to wrap yourself up in that comfy blanket and just remember that each moment your body shivers is taking you that much closer to the healthy body of your 2018 dreams.