If you live somewhere that is currently under a blanket of snow, now is a good time to go out for some exercise – at least if you’re looking to burn fat, according to a new study by the American Physiological Society Researchers found that high intensity exercise sessions conducted at 32F temperatures resulted in more fat burning than the same exercise in a “thermoneutral” space.
The study involved volunteers described as overweight, but moderately fit. They were tasked with participating in two weekly sessions of high-intensity exercise involving 10 minutes of cycling at 90 percent of their maximum effort.
After each session of cycling sprints, participants would cool down for 90 seconds pedaling only 30% of maximum effort. The key to the research was the temperatures presented – one session involved an environment of 21 ° C hot and the other at 32 ° C cold.
Using a variety of measurements, including things like heart rate and core body temperature, the study found that burning fat while exercising in a cold environment was considerably greater than in a warmer environment.
The researchers explained: “The present study found that high-intensity exercise in the cold increased lipid oxidation by 358% during the exercise session compared to high-intensity exercise in a thermoneutral environment.” The findings add to a body of research on cold temperatures and their effects on the body, including the potential to increase brown fat that burns energy.