Many do not know that exercising in cold weather can be more effective than exercising in hot air. This is because your body can actually burn more calories when you sweat in cold weather.
This is because humans have two types of fat cells, namely white fat cells and brown fat cells. White fat cells function to store energy from the food eaten and are also associated with weight gain. Meanwhile, brown fat cells are considered good because they burn calories to warm our bodies.
According to research, when you are exposed to colder temperatures, your body tends to produce more of these brown fat cells. Brown fat cells can warm up, which means you need more brown fat cells when the temperature drops.
In addition, chills caused by cold can also be used as a way of warming up. Where this process is known as thermogenesis, which increases body temperature by burning more energy (calories).
“It feels easier to exercise in colder climates,” says Pamela Geisel, CSCS, an exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Beyond that, you’ll probably work out harder when you’re not bothered by extreme heat. But, not necessarily you have to always exercise in the cold.
“If you’re exercising at a sustained, vigorous intensity (like running or training at a training ground), it doesn’t make a big difference whether you’re in a colder or more temperate environment,” says John Castellani, PhD, an exercise physiologist at Army Research. Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts.
That’s because you’re working enough to warm up your body thoroughly, so you no longer have to burn extra brown fat cells to stay warm.
However, if you are exercising in the cold, there are a few things to keep in mind. Experts say that the ideal temperature is around 10-12 degrees Celsius. When the temperature is below, then you need to consider a number of other issues such as paying attention to the safety of sports equipment in cold weather.
You should know how long you’ve been outside after a workout, especially if your clothes are drenched in sweat. This can therefore increase the risk of hypothermia.
Even in fairly cold temperatures, your body needs time to warm up to avoid injury. The solution, do dynamic stretches and give your body enough time to adjust.