Winter Exercise Burns More Calories, Especially for Women (Time for a Hike?) by 30Seconds Health

4 years ago
Winter Exercise Burns More Calories, Especially for Women (Time for a Hike?)

Did you think outdoor exercise was over for the winter? Think again. A study led by University at Albany anthropologist Cara Ocobock found that people who hike in temperatures of 15 to 23 degrees F burn 34 percent more calories than those who hike in more comfortable, mid 50s weather.

The findings were part of a larger study for which Ocobock observed women and men taking part in a three- to four-month outdoor training program. She measured how many calories they burned while doing physical activity such as hiking and cross-country skiing with a fully-loaded backpack and found that it was quite high when temperatures were low.

Ocobock believes the calorie loss was partially due to the temperature since, during cold weather, our bodies must burn extra energy to stay warm. For extra resistance, add a snowy terrain – but wear the right boots and be careful. “This program was incredibly calorically demanding," Ocobock said. "Individuals were expending an average of over 3,500 calories per day while hiking in the mountains during the spring and over 4,700 calories per day during hiking in the mountains during the winter."

She also found that a large percentage of women in the program managed to lose weight, while actually increasing their muscle mass, which didn't happen with their male counterparts. "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," Ocobock said. "Their bodies were less likely to break down muscle for fuel."

The study was published in the American Journal of Human Biology

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Elisa Schmitz, 30Seconds
Did this yesterday in the snow. You can really feel your body working harder! ❄️

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