We typically use cold weather as an excuse to exercise indoors (or um, eat cheese on the couch indoors), but new research suggests it might be worth braving the cold for a winter run or cross-country ski sesh. Why? You could burn more calories.
A study at the University at Albany found that people who hike in temperatures of 15 to 23 degrees burn 34 percent more calories than those who hike in more comfortable, mid-50s weather. Chalk the excess calorie loss up to the fact that, during cold weather, our bodies have to burn extra energy to stay warm.
Beyond that, the study—which included men and women—found that a large percentage of the women lost weight while increasing their muscle mass, which didn't happen with their male counterparts. Per one of the study’s authors, anthropologist Cara Ocobock, "The women were better able to manage the cold than men because, on average, they have more body fat and could use those fat stores to fuel the activity." (Go, girls.)
Guess it’s time to invest in a good pair of gloves and dig our old ice skates out of the garage.