Sweat or Shiver: Is it Better to Exercise in Hot or Cold Weather?

Sweat or Shiver: Is it Better to Exercise in Hot or Cold Weather?

Getting active is important every month of the year and it can be done well indoors or outdoors. But for those who enjoy breathing in some fresh air as they workout, it’s important to consider how the weather impacts that exercise.

There are benefits and downside to extreme temperatures – hot or cold.

It’s inevitable that the body will feel exhausted sooner when it’s having to work harder in order to prevent itself from overheating. While that increases the stress and blood flow – intensifying the workout – it also tends to shorten the length of time a person is willing to endure the physical strain.

Conversely, working out in the frigid tundra puts the body at risk of hypothermia if not adequately warmed.

However, colder temperatures can also increase the body’s appetite. A new study identified how colder temperatures can trigger brain circuits in mammals that make them want to eat more. The findings could yield new metabolic health and weight loss therapeutics in the future.

“This is a fundamental adaptive mechanism in mammals and targeting it with future treatments might allow the enhancement of the metabolic benefits of cold or other forms of fat burning,” said Li Ye, the study’s senior author.

There are other benefits associated with taking fitness outdoors – like taking in Vitamin D from the exposure to sunlight and increasing immunity from sickness.

At the end of the day, the weather should only play a minor role in workout decisions. The most important thing is to commit to consistency. Two workouts in any weather are better than one with hot or cold temperatures.


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