Well Being

Shivering Is Not A Serviceable Substitute For Exercise

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shiveringIf you're looking for an exciting way to burn calories without really exercising, perhaps consider shivering in freezing cold temperatures for like 10 to 15 minutes, or don't because it sounds a bit dangerous.

New research out of the University of Sydney implies that quivering from the cold can help you lose weight more quickly than exercising can. It all has to do with brown fat versus white fat. Apparently, when scientists exposed test subjects to increasingly cold temperatures until they started shivering,

“[They] identified two hormones that are stimulated by cold – irisin and FGF21- released from shivering muscle and brown fat respectively…These hormones fired up the energy-burning rate of human brown fat cells in the laboratory, and the treated fat cells began to emit heat, a hallmark of brown fat function.”

Apparently, just 10 to 15 minutes of the shivers and you produce as much irisin as an entire hour of moderate exercise. You can read (slightly) more about the science behind this chilling discovery at The Daily Mail or in the latest edition of Cell Metabolism.

I'm sure this research will be very helpful for scientists and medical professionals concerned with obesity, weight loss and whatnot for years to come, but it should not be taken to heart as a calorie burning alternative to working out by laymen and my fellow lazy weirdos trying to drop weight without picking up a barbell. Exercise is generally considered either a big pain in the ass or an acquired taste, but trembling with the chills in freezing conditions is far more unpleasant. The massive calorie burn produced as a result of being too cold seems kind of like preventative measure by your body against death. I'm sure you burn more calories when you're trying not to drown than you do by swimming laps, but that doesn't mean exposing your body to dangerous conditions is a good idea.

via The Daily Mail//Image via Shutterstock