January is typically known for bringing out two very different emotions in people: motivation and depression. Whether you have decided to get in shape for the New Year, or you are stuck in the past with some weight gain and lack of motivation, there is always hope around this time of year.
Getting to the gym in the blistery winter is tough for college students. Short, dark, cold days are upon us. Many students are forced walk to the gym in the freezing cold if they don’t have a car on campus. But did you know that those hellish walks can actually be very beneficial for your body?
During the winter months, your body uses up more calories when it is forced to go out into the cold. While you’re attempting to stay warm, your body uses those stored calories – whether it be from Christmas or that last movie night you had – to keep your blood flowing and your core heated. When you begin to shiver, you burn even more calories because you are requiring your body to do more work.
Be wary, though, because many people tend to believe that this premise applies to every outlet of cold exercise – that running or exercising in the cold burns more calories. However, once your body is able to warm up enough during cardiovascular exercise, that extra burn stabilizes and returns to your normal metabolic rate.
This being said, that short walk outside to the gym will be just enough to burn a few extra calories before you begin to warm up. Your body will not have enough time to fully adjust to the weather; therefore, a few extra calories will literally be shaken off.
Think of this next time you have to walk to class as well! A little extra motivation to get to class never hurt this time of year.
By Liz Tosi