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The winter holidays are the perfect time to relax and enjoy the company of your loved ones. Unfortunately, it’s also a time where people tend to eat too much and exercise too little.

If you need to burn off some fat after the winter holidays, a new study suggests that working out in the winter cold can have a positive effect on fat metabolism.

The study was carried out by scientists at Canada’s Laurentian University, focusing on 11 “recreationally active” but overweight adults who took part in two HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions a week apart. As reported in New Atlas, one of these HIIT sessions was conducted in a “thermoneutral” environment with temperatures of around 70 °F (21 °C) while the other was carried out at a frigid 32 °F (0 °C).

After each session, the participants cooled down by gently cycling or walking, ate a nutrition bar before going to sleep, and indulged in a high-fat breakfast the morning after. Meanwhile, the scientists monitored skin temperature, core body temperature, heart rate, and the amount of oxygen delivered to the thighs, along with glucose, general oxygen, carbon dioxide levels, and gas exchange levels. In addition, blood samples were drawn to measure fat burning rates, or lipid oxidation, following the breakfast the next day.

According to the authors of the study, high-intensity exercise in the cold boosted lipid oxidation “by 358 percent during the exercise bout in comparison to high-intensity exercise in a thermoneutral environment.”

Although this is a massive increase in fat-burning levels, it must be noted that the data was only taken from two HIIT workouts and that the small sample group isn’t enough to come to any definite conclusion. That said, the new study does indicate that exercising in the cold could improve the body’s ability to burn fat.

The post Exercising in the cold could boost body’s ability to burn fat first appeared on The Optimist Daily: Making Solutions the News.

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