You Asked: Is Being Cold Good for You?

A 50-degree fall day sends you running for a down jacket, while a 50-degree day in spring feels almost balmy. What’s up with that? Your body has an innate ability to “acclimatize” to colder temps—a skill scientists have recognized since a groundbreaking 1961 study.

For that month-long study, a U.S. Army researcher exposed 10 nude men to temperatures in the low 50s for eight hours a day. Not surprisingly, the poor study subjects did a lot of shivering—which is the body’s quick-fix way to generate heat. But by day 14, the men had mostly stopped shivering, and their bodies seemed to be making heat some other way.

Today, experts understand that special heat-producing fat cells—known as “brown fat”—deserve the credit for our ability to acclimatize. Whereas normal “white fat” cells store energy derived from the food we eat, brown fat cells burn energy to produce heat, says Barbara Cannon, a professor of biomedical sciences at Stockholm University in Sweden.

“Cold exposure increases the amount of brown fat that is present in the body,” says Cannon, who has published research on brown fat and its health benefits.

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So while the body’s first response to cold is to shiver, it eventually makes and activates enough brown fat to take over those heat-producing responsibilities, she explains. In either case, your body is burning extra calories in response to cold. That can even translate to some body-weight benefits. As long as you’re not overeating to make up for the extra energy your cold-exposed body is using up, you can expect to lose some weight in response to cold, Cannon says. (How much depends on the person.)

There may be some additional metabolic benefits. Among people with higher levels of brown fat, “we see better insulin sensitivity, lower levels of circulating fatty acids and also lower levels of triglycerides,” says Sven Enerbäck, a professor of cell biology at Sweden’s University of Gothenburg whose research suggests that people’s stores of brown fat change (and mostly decline) as they age.

Enerbäck says the healthy metabolic shifts associated with brown fat are in some ways just the opposite of what happens in people with type 2 diabetes. There’s some excitement among scientists that cold exposure and brown-fat genesis could be used to counteract or prevent diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders.

MORE: TIME’s Guide to Weight Loss

But there are reasons to be wary—especially for those who suffer from heart disease, or are at risk for a heart event or stroke.

“When exposed to cold, the body tries to prevent heat loss by shrinking blood vessels, so you get increased blood pressure and heart rate,” says Shingo Kajimura, an associate professor of cell and tissue biology at the University of California, San Francisco.

These cold-induced blood-pressure swings could trigger a heart attack or stroke in people who are at risk. “This is why there are so many 911 calls at three A.M. in the middle of winter,” Kajimura says. “Older people get up to go to the bathroom, and when they step out on the cold floor, that stimulates blood vessel constriction and stroke.” (Research has shown that a roughly 5-degree drop in ambient temperature increases a person’s risk for stroke by 11%.)

Kajimura recently published a study on “beige fat”: basically white fat that has been partially converted to brown fat in response to cold exposure.

How much cold do you have to put up with in order to increase your body’s levels of beneficial brown and beige fat? That depends on a lot of factors. For one thing, your body’s existing deposits of insulating white fat will determine how much cold exposure you can take before you feel chilly. But Kajimura says existing studies suggest two hours a day spent in a 65-degree room—dressed so that you’re cool and shivering, but not freezing—should be enough to increase your stores of brown and beige fat.

Even if you can stand the cold and increase your body’s healthy fat stores, you’ll have to keep exposing yourself to cool temps in order to derive any fat-burning or metabolic benefits. “If you develop a lot of brown fat by being in the cold, this will not help you to stay slim when you are in a warm environment,” Cannon says.

It’s also not clear whether the weight-loss and metabolic changes associated with brown fat will offer you long-term health benefits. Many diet studies have shown that almost any intervention can help you drop weight in the short term. But the body likes to return to homeostasis. “This is why it’s so hard to maintain weight loss,” Kajimura says.

“I think chronic cold exposure will turn out to be good for metabolic health and for type-2 diabetes,” he adds. “But we need more investigation in human clinical trials.”

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Do You Burn More Calories In the Winter or Summer?

Among the many, many, many reasons I love summer is the fact that, in my mind, it’s my best-looking season. My hair bleaches out a little, I get a tan on (despite the SPF, I’m not a madwoman), and for whatever reason, I always seem to drop a few pounds without consciously doing a thing. Vanity! Not even ashamed.

I generally assumed the last perk was a result of the heat. You know, I’m sweating, my body temp is up, I must be burning a few extra calories during my usual exercise sessions. Thank you, summer!

But recently I read a few studies that have found that cold temperatures activate the body’s stores of brown fat, the “good” type of fat that actually burns up calories. (It’s one reason to take a real winter vacation.) It got me thinking: Is my unintentional summer slim down just because I’m actually craving salads? Am I really burning more calories in the winter, just negating them with the extra mashed potatoes and hot chocolate I’m consuming (not together)?

To put my mind at ease, I turned to Jessica Matthews, an assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College in San Diego and a senior advisor for health and fitness education for the American Council on Exercise. “Overall, given that exercise itself raises the body’s temperature, the reality is that in hotter temperatures the body needs to expend additional energy beyond the demands of working muscles in order to thermoregulate, or keep the body’s temperatures from rising too greatly,” she says. (10 Must-Know Tips for Exercising in Hot Weather.)

Translation: Basically what she’s saying is that yes, in the summer you probably burn a few extra calories while working out or while at rest, because your body needs to work that much harder to cool itself back down compared to when it’s chillier out.

Here’s the twist, though. If you’re so cold you start to shiver, you may burn a few extra calories than you would in warmer temperatures. “Shivering requires the body to work harder in order to thermoregulate, though the exact effect on calorie expenditure depends on a number of factors-time of exposure, temperature, wind chill, etc.,” says Matthews.

As for how cold temperatures affect your brown fat, right now it’s hard to say, Matthews says. Most of the research about the relationship with temperature, brown fat, and calorie burn has been done in mice, and it may still be too early to tell how it affects humans.

Bottom line, says Matthews: In general, how many calories you burn depends on a lot, not just temperature. In fact, the difference caused just by the thermostat is probably pretty small, compared to the impact things like exercise and eating well makes. If you’re interested in boosting your calorie burn, you’re better off using these tips instead.

  • By Mirel Ketchiff @mirelbee

Do Cold Weather Workouts Burn More Calories?

If cooler weather is your cue to hunker down in the gym, it may be time to rethink that strategy. The reason: Some studies show that you may actually burn more calories when you break a sweat in the cold. There’s even a new boutique fitness spot capitalizing on this idea. At Brrrn studio in New York, the climate is kept between 45°F and 60°F. But does the science on this stuff actually pan out? We got experts to weigh in, plus offer pointers on getting it done.

RELATED: 7 Tips to Shovel Snow Safely and Efficiently (and Even Turn It Into a Workout)

How It Works

To really understand this concept, you need to know a bit about fat. Humans have two different types of fat cells. White fat cells store energy from the food we eat and are also the kind that are associated with weight gain. Then there are brown fat cells, which are considered good because they burn calories to heat our body. According to recent research, when we are exposed to colder temps, our bodies tend to produce more of these brown fat cells. It makes sense, right? They keep us warm, so we need more of them when temps drop.

Another reason this chilly workout trend is said to be effective: The cold causes us to shiver as a way of warming up—a process known as thermogenesis, which increases body temperature by burning more energy (a.k.a. calories). Beyond that, you may work harder when you’re not distracted by sweltering temperatures. “It feels easier to exercise in a cooler climate,” says Pamela Geisel, CSCS, an exercise physiologist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. And the better you feel, the longer or harder you’re willing to push yourself.

RELATED: How to Motivate Yourself to Go to the Gym on Cold, Dark Days

So should you always be working out in the cold? Not necessarily. “If you are exercising at a sustained hard intensity , it doesn’t make a big difference whether you are in a cool environment or a more temperate one,” says John Castellani, PhD, an exercise physiologist at the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Natick, Massachusetts. The reason for this is fairly simple: You’re working enough to thoroughly heat your body, so it no longer has to burn extra brown fat cells to stay warm.

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Staying Safe

If you’re heading outside for a frosty workout, there are a few things to keep in mind. To maximize the benefits, you want to be working out in a temperature somewhere between the high 40s and high 50s (experts say 50–53°F is ideal). When the weather drops below this, you’ll have to consider a host of other issues—like investing in cold-weather workout gear or navigating icy or snowy surfaces, which can mean poor footing and a greater risk of falling. Even at moderately cold temperatures, it takes your body some time to warm up. This can lead to an increased possibility of injury if you go too hard, too soon, warns Geisel.

RELATED: How to Wake Up Early for a Morning Workout, According to Women Who Do It at 4 A.M.

The solution: Do some dynamic stretching before heading out. Then, once you’re outside, start slowly and give your body ample time to adjust.

Finally, you need to be cognizant of how long you’re outside after your workout—especially if your clothes are soaked in sweat. Even at a relatively mild 41°F, heat loss in wet clothes can be double that of dry conditions. This puts you at an increased risk of hypothermia, which can develop when heat loss exceeds heat production, causing a drop in core temperature. Early symptoms include feeling chilled, severe shivering, and feeling confused. If you start noticing any of these signs, head inside immediately.

Now that you’re armed with a few stay-safe strategies, get out there and freeze your booty off!

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Winter and Nutrition: Fueling for Cold-Weather Exercise

Some athletes embrace winter’s chill as a welcome change from exercising in summer’s heat. But others complain about hating cold weather.

If that’s your stance, remember that exercising with proper nutrition (and layers of dry clothing) offers the opportunity to chase away the chills.

After all, an aerobic workout can increase your metabolism by seven to 10 times above the resting level.

This means that if you were to exercise hard for an hour and dissipate no heat, you could raise your body temperature from 98.6 to 140 degrees F. (You’d cook yourself in the process!)

In the summer, your body sweats heavily to dissipate this heat. But in the winter, the warmth helps you survive in a cold environment. Runners can enjoy a tropical environment in their running suit within minutes of starting exercise.

Because food provides the fuel needed to generate this heat, the right sports diet is particularly important for skiers, skaters, runners and other athletes who are exposed to extreme cold.

This article addresses some common questions and concerns about winter and nutrition and offers tips to help you enjoy the season.

For safety’s sake, winter athletes should always carry with them some source of fuel in case of an unexpected slip on the ice or other incident that leaves them static in a frigid environment.

Winter campers, for example, commonly keep a supply of dried fruit, chocolate or cookies near by for fuel if they wake up cold in the middle of the night. You want to have an emergency energy bar tucked in your pocket, just in case.

Why Am I Hungrier in the Winter?

A drop in body temperature stimulates the appetite and you experience hunger. Hence, if you become chilled during winter exercise (or when swimming at any time of ye ar, for that matter), you’ll likely find yourself searching for food.

Eating “stokes the furnace,” generates heat, and helps warm your body.

Food’s overall warming effect is known as thermogenesis (that is, “heat making”). Thirty to 60 minutes after you eat, your body generates about 10 percent more heat than when you have an empty stomach.

This increased metabolism stems primarily from energy released during digestion. Hence, eating not only provides fuel but also increases heat production (warmth).

Do I Burn More Calories When I’m Cold?

Cold weather itself does not increase calorie needs. You don’t burn extra calories unless your body temperature drops and you start to shiver. (And remember: The weather can actually be tropical inside your exercise outfit.)

Your body does use a considerable amount of energy to warm and humidify the air you breathe when you exercise in the cold.

For example, if you were to burn 600 calories while cross-country skiing for an hour in 0-degree F weather, you may use about 23 percent of those calories to warm the inspired air.

In summer, you would have dissipated this heat via sweat. In winter, you sweat less.

If you are wearing a lot of winter gear, you will burn a few more calories to carry the extra weight of layers of clothes, or skis, boots, heavy parka, snow shoes, etc. The Army allows 10 percent more calories for the heavily clad troops who exercise in the cold.

But the weight of extra clothing on, let’s say, winter runners, is generally minimal.

Why Do I Shiver When I’m Cold?

Shivering is involuntary muscle tensing that generates heat and offers a warming effect. When you first become slightly chilled (such as when watching a football game outdoors), you’ll find yourself doing an isometric type of muscle tensing that can increase your metabolic rate two to four times.

Trying to shed a few pounds? The cold weather can help you lose weight faster!

Have you walked yet today? If not, I just have that feeling that you’ll want to … soon!

Now we all know that walking is good for you. A brisk-paced walk can help you look and feel better, increase energy, and pick up your spirits. Walking can work to improve your health by helping lower cholesterol, strengthen your heart and reduce the likelihood of serious health problems like heart disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis, arthritis, type 2 Diabetes and more.

Walking also does something else that essentially contributes to each of the features that I mentioned above. Walking can help you lose weight. What I’ve recently learned surprised me. You can lose weight at an increased rate while walking and it does not take any extra effort on your part.

Actually, Mother Nature is going to be doing most of the work – all you have to do is visit her. Since she is giving us cooler temperatures now that autumn is here, it means we can burn more calories while walking outdoors and lose weight at a faster rate. How? Well, our body reacts rapidly to heat loss that comes from being exposed to the cold. When we walk in the cold weather, our body will immediately try to raise its BMR (basal metabolic rate) in order to compensate for body heat loss and thus, burn more calories.

And the best time of day do this is after a meal. Researchers found that if you take a walk after a meal in the cooler temperatures, your body will be burning even more calories. Why? Scientists claim that the “good” brown fat is activated by cold temperatures. This brown fat burns calories – the “bad” white fat, which functions largely to store up fat. Activating brown fat is a great way to speed up weight loss… and they have found the the cool temperatures surely seems to have a way of doing that!

Don’t let me keep you any longer. In fact, I’ll keep this short and sweet: Enjoy a healthy meal, tie on those athletic shoes and take a brisk walk in the cool autumn air. You’ll be burning calories and trimming that waistline with every step you take!

Photo credit: Out of Chicago

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Do I burn more calories when it is hot outside or cold?

Do you burn more calories in the heat or in the cold? It seems as if the extra energy that is needed to keep you warm when exercising in a cold environment would translate into extra calories burned. However, exercise raises the body’s temperature on its own without needing to expend more energy to do this. In hot weather, it takes more cardiovascular effort to COOL the body, which occurs by pumping blood to the skin to promote sweating. Therefore, exercising in warm weather would actually use more energy than exercising at a temperature near freezing.

In one study, nine male subjects cycled for 90 minutes in different temperatures: -10 degrees Celsius, zero degrees Celsius, 10 degrees Celsius and 20 degrees Celsius. During the two colder temperatures, there was a higher respiratory exchange ratio indicating that more carbohydrate was used for fuel and less fat was oxidized than during the warmer trials (1). In another study of eight male cyclists, subjects rode to exhaustion in four different temperatures (approximately 4, 10, 20 and 30 degrees Celsius). The longest time to exhaustion was found at 10 degrees Celsius and the shortest was at 30 degrees Celsius. This research showed a relationship between temperature and exercise capacity with the best exercise able to be performed in the moderate ranges with the lowest capacity on either end of the temperature extremes. (2) These two studies suggest that working out in moderate to warm temperature is best for burning fat and exercising longer, so more calories are burned overall.

Cold weather doesn’t increase caloric expenditure unless, however, the body starts to shiver. When a person is shivering, the body needs to work harder to maintain thermoregulation (body temperature). According to Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., shivering can burn about 400 calories per hour and it depletes glycogen stores and leaves you feeling fatigued (3). In this situation the energy expenditure in cold weather is greater than in warm weather, but the actual amount of additional calories burned due to shivering depends on the temperature, how long the person was exposed, and the type of clothing.

Other factors can cause weight gain during winter months. Inclement weather and less daylight can decrease activity. Winter blues, also known as seasonal affective disorder, is related to low levels of serotonin production (the feel-good hormone in the brain). It has been shown that eating carbohydrates increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, which may also be why we reach for a cookie after a tough day (4). Also, many people find it hard to resist the many high-calorie treats that are available in abundance during the holidays.

Maxims typically date back many years, but “feed a cold, starve a fever” may beat them all. This saying has been traced to a 1574 dictionary by John Withals, which noted that “fasting is a great remedy of fever.” The belief is that eating food may help the body generate warmth during a “cold” and that avoiding food may help it cool down when overheated.

But recent medical science says the old saw is wrong. It should be “feed a cold, feed a fever.”

Let’s take colds first. When your body fights an illness it needs energy, so eating healthy food is helpful. Eating can also help the body generate heat—although wearing an extra layer of clothes or slipping into bed can keep you warm, too. There’s no need to overeat, however. The body is quick to turn recently digested food into energy, and it’s also efficient at converting stored energy in fat.

The reasons to eat for fever are more interesting. Fever is part of the immune system’s attempt to beat the bugs. It raises body temperature, which increases metabolism and results in more calories burned; for each degree of temperature rise, the energy demand increases further. So taking in calories becomes important.

Even more crucial is drinking. Fever dehydrates your system, in part through increased sweating from that elevated temperature. Replacing fluids is therefore critical to helping the body battle the infection. The same is true for combating colds. “You have to make yourself drink fluids, even though all you want to do is collapse,” says William Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Dehydration also makes mucus in the nose, throat and lungs dry up, which can then clog sinuses and respiratory tubes. When mucus hardens it becomes more difficult to cough, Schaffner notes, which is our way of trying to expel mucus and the germs it contains. Staying hydrated helps keep the mucus running, which, even though it may be disgusting, is one of our natural defenses.

The challenge, of course, is that when you’re sick you may not feel much like drinking and even less like eating. Loss of appetite is common, and might be part of the body’s attempt to focus its energy on pounding the pathogens. Given the wisdom noted above, Schaffner says, don’t force yourself to eat if you don’t feel like it. “But drink,” he adds. “It’s the liquids that are important.” Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine enhances dehydration. So does alcohol, and it is also a depressant, holding us down.

What about some other common conceptions for beating colds and fevers, such as eating chicken soup? Chicken soup doesn’t possess any magic ingredients, but it has calories as well as the all-important liquids again. The warm vapor rising from the bowl can also moisten and loosen dried mucus. The same goes for vapor from hot tea, with or without lemon or honey. Taking a hot shower can soften mucus, too—and if you dare, you can get rid of it by gently blowing your nose one nostril at a time while you’re in there.

Supplements are dubious at best. The data from studies about taking vitamin C are inconclusive, as they are for zinc. Solid studies of echinacea show no benefit. If there’s any positive effect at all from any of these compounds, it is very small, Schaffner concludes.

Over-the-counter remedies may or may not help, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. They can relieve symptoms but they do not kill off viruses or bacteria. Cold and fever germs usually run their course, and the immune system eventually gets the upper hand. In the meantime, drink drink drink. And sleep as much as you can, to give your body the rest it needs to fight the good fight.

Gut Check is a periodic look at health claims. We ask: Should you believe this?

The claim:

Exercising in the cold burns more calories than exercising in warmer temperatures, making it easier to lose weight. Specifically, people who hiked in temperatures ranging from 15 to 23 degrees burned 34 percent more calories than people who hiked in temperatures in the mid-50s, according to a recent study of 53 men and women who took part in a vigorous National Outdoor Leadership School program in Wyoming.

Tell me more:

“Cold is much more metabolically expensive,” said Cara Ocobock, of the University at Albany, who did the Wyoming study. “You have to burn more calories” through what’s called thermogenesis just to keep the body warm. (Hint to dieters: bundle up less; you’ll burn more calories than if you’re engulfed in goose down and wool.)

The men in the outdoor school burned an average of 3,822 calories per day while hiking in the mountains during the spring and 4,787 calories per day in winter; for women it was 3,081 in spring and 3,880 in winter, Ocobock found. This was the first study to measure how calorie expenditures varied by ambient temperature in the real world rather than an exercise lab.

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Although exercise alone is an almost impossible way to lose weight (because people often eat more after working out, more than compensating for the calories burned), many of the outdoor school participants did shed pounds. In cold weather they burned 2,000 more calories per day than they consumed, on average, compared to 1,000 calories in warm weather, leading to weight loss (more in women than men).

Really?

While such results might seem like an invitation to be a couch potato in warm weather and schedule a year’s worth of outdoor exercise for winter (more bang for the buck), naturally things are more complicated. “There is a trade-off,” Ocobock said. “You generate heat through movement.”

Since movement — a brisk walk in sub-zero temps, say — warms you somewhat, you don’t need to burn as much fat to achieve the same body-warming result. That raises the possibility that you might maximize calories burned by minimizing movement in the cold — say, by taking a slow stroll so your muscles generate less heat, leaving more for your calorie-burning metabolism to do — and then doing your workouts at a nice toasty gym.

Exercise physiologists don’t know whether that’s so, Ocobock said, but research does show that it’s possible to leverage cold temps to burn calories with essentially no effort. Sleeping in a cold room, for instance, raises the basal metabolism rate, making you burn more calories doing “nothing” (other than breathing and keeping your organs functioning) than you would in a warmer room. That avoids one of the downsides of cold-weather exercise — namely, that it may make you hungrier than exercising in warmer conditions.

In general, chilly (but well above freezing) temps increase thermogenesis by up to 30 percent, a 2014 paper found, while temps cold enough to make you shiver can generate more “brown fat,” which is particularly good at thermogenesis and therefore burning calories.

The verdict:

Lots of factors influence how many calories you burn but, in general, heading outdoors in winter for some brisk activity is a two-fer.

This Is Exactly How Cold Weather Helps Your Body Burn More Calories

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This time of year is filled with opportunities to pack on extra pounds. Think Christmas cookies, eggnog, lazy days when your only exercise is shuffling from the couch to the fridge … you get the idea. But if you live in a cold-weather climate, you have at least one calorie-burning weapon in your holiday arsenal: that arctic blast that hits you when you step outside.

Yup, cold temperatures can boost calorie burn. We already knew this, thanks to recent studies on brown fat and the hormone irisin, both of which are involved in energy expenditure and are activated by involuntary muscle contractions—like shivering when the temperature drops.

But we love how the American Chemical Society spells out the science for us in this new video, and shows us exactly how the process goes down. It’s a great reminder of how hard our bodies are working beneath the surface, even when we’re barely moving a muscle.

RELATED: 57 Ways to Lose Weight Forever, According to Science

To be clear, shivering on a ski lift or waiting on line outside a movie theater could never provide all the benefits of an actual heart-pounding, muscle-building workout—which can also, by the way, trigger brown fat to burn more calories. But at least we can take heart in knowing that it may help—even in the tiniest way—keep off some of that dreaded winter weight.

John Castellani, a researcher in the Thermal & Mountain Medicine Division of the U.S. Army’s Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, takes on this question.

Body weight changes usually result from long-term changes in lean or fat body mass, but they can also result from acute changes in total body water. Significant changes in body weight due to climate usually take the form of weight gained rather than weight lost, especially once the body has become acclimated to high levels of activity in the heat.

Water accounts for about 60 percent of a person’s weight. (For an average person, this represents 42 liters, or 11 gallons.) For most people, water turnover, or the total amount of water that is lost and replaced by the body, averages about two to three liters, or 0.5 to 0.8 gallon, per day. This amount can change depending on several factors, including exercise and environmental stress. Aside from normal daily water loss in the form of urine, the major source of body water loss is sweat.

A person’s daily water needs are dependent upon their level of activity and the air temperature. Hotter temperatures and intense exercise increase sweating rates and, as a result, water requirements. Humid weather will also ratchet up the sweating rate—but in high humidity, sweat typically drips off the body rather than evaporating, thus providing no cooling effect. Even with high sweating rates, the total body water of a person fluctuates over an eight- to 24-hour period in a narrow range of about 0.5 percent in hot weather and only 0.25 percent in temperate environments.

This tiny range holds even when sweat losses are increased substantially with exercise, because humans replace most of their fluid losses at mealtime, allowing them to come back into fluid balance. For individuals who exercise hard, fluid will need to be replaced during exercise as well.

As the climate changes and it becomes hotter, the body adapts via a process known as heat acclimatization in order to reduce the negative effects of heat stress. By the second day of heat acclimatization, sweating starts sooner and takes place at higher rates, which improves evaporative cooling and reduces body heat storage and skin temperature. Thus, after heat acclimatization, fluid requirements will be higher due to increased sweating. Heat acclimatization also improves fluid balance by better matching thirst to water needs, increasing the blood volume and increasing total body water.

In the summer, body weight can go up by several pounds due to increased body water. This is accomplished through fluid-conserving hormones such as aldosterone, which allows the kidney to retain more fluid and reduces the amount of salt in sweat, a measure that also aids in water retention. The increase and stabilization of total body water can only be accomplished by continuing to exercise in hot weather and will not occur in people who spend most of their time indoors in air-conditioned environments.

Losing Weight in Hot Weather Made Easy

If you live in a place where the relentless sun refuses to give any respite to humans, then losing weight might be a difficult task for you here.

While chartering a workout schedule, make sure that you keep in mind the climate of where you live. When trying to lose extra pounds in hot weather, it is important to keep your safety in mind and have alternatives of staying cool while exercising handy. Take a look at these tips to help you lose weight in hot weather.

Invest in Fitness or Gym Membership

Most fitness centres offer an additional option for exercising on hot days while avoiding the heat. Enrol in yoga classes, indoor cycling, boot camp or Pilates if they are available in close proximity to where you live.

Find at-home Exercises

Find exercises that you can do at home if investing in gym equipments or joining a gym is not feasible. You can easily exercise indoors by doing aerobic workouts, such as jumping jacks, running in place, resistance exercises, such as sit-ups, push-ups, squats or lunges.

Wear Sunscreen

Make sure that you wear sunscreen whenever you exercise outdoors. Pick a sunscreen that has an SPF value of at least 30. Sunscreen will help protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause serious skin problems, such as sunburns and can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. You may also use a sun block. A sun block helps in protecting the skin from the dangers of exposure to heat and radiation of the sun right after you have applied it unlike in the case of sunscreen, which must be applied 20 minutes before stepping out.

Stay Hydrated

Remember to keep yourself hydrated not only when you are exercising, but also otherwise. While exercising, the body naturally sweats to cool the internal temperature. Exercising when it is hot outside increases the amount of moisture that one loses from sweat, thereby increasing the risks of heat exhaustion and heat stroke that can lead to seizures, swelling of brain and even death if let to be for a prolonged period.

Exercise in Shade

When exercising outdoors, always exercise in shade. Choose a running path that runs through a forested area with lots of trees. Alternatively, find a shade of a large tree to perform stationary or resistance exercises under it. Even if only a small part of your exercise routine is in the shade, doing so helps in cutting the risks associated with working out in the heat.

However you plan to exercise, make sure that you avoid exercising during the midday sun. It is during this time that the sun is closest to earth.

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