Do you burn more calories exercising in the cold? Here’s what the science says.

There's lots of talk about "burning more calories" by exercising more. That's only partially true. The reality is that our body burns a large share of calories by simply running on autopilot and staying warm. Some folks try to game the system and exercise in the cold.

Bad news: that doesn't really work.

"It is true that a cold body uses more energy to keep itself warm than a warm body. But alas, exercising in the cold isn’t the fabulous calorie burner you may like to think it is. Before we get to why, let’s look at the reason this idea seems so intuitive and appealing."

“The best way to use the cold to burn more calories would be to not exercise while you're outdoors,” Pontzer added. “You'd get your brown fat cooking and making heat, and might even start shivering, all of which burns calories.”


Jay Boddu