You have probably heard about a certain workout known as “hot yoga” before. I remember the confusion I felt the first time I drove past a yoga studio that had so much steam covering the windows that it was impossible for anyone to look in or out. While I have yet to try it out for myself, fitness trends such as hot yoga have since been embraced by many people for its capabilities at reducing stress and soothing tense muscles and joints.
However, there is now a new fitness trend that is blossoming that actually relies on colder temperatures in order for participants to see any positive results, as I learned from an interesting article that was recently posted by USA Today. Apparently, these types of “cool workouts” have the ability to actually encouage weight loss in participants; here is what I learned.
This seemingly strange claim relates to something that health experts refer to as “brown fat”. You already know that regular body fat, when not piled on in excess amounts, is meant to warm and protect the organs of the body while storing energy, but brown fat is a very specific type of fat that has a different sort of chemistry and function in the body. Brown fat is not used for energy conservation, but rather it creates heat by burning up calories. The good news here is that scientists have successfully concluded two important facts about brown fat. First, brown fat is found in almost all adults in little pockets throughout the body, namely the back of the neck. Second, brown fat can be activated by cold temperatures.
You probably now see where this whole “cool workout” trend is going. Studies have shown that brown fat tends to be activated at the range of anywhere between sixty through sixty-two degrees Fahrenheit. This allows your body to feel cool and to trigger the brown fat into burning up calories. Just be sure that the temperature doesn’t dip any lower than this, since the shivering and muscle tightness that occurs with truly cold temperatures does nothing to activate the brown fat that is stored in your body.
Of course, it is important to realize that simply standing in a cold room is not enough for you to magically shed those pounds. Rather, it is recommended that you continue to do your regular exercise routine in environments that have cooler temperatures rather than warmer ones in order to really notice the benefits of this fitness trend.
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