Shivering creates heat and burns calories

Sat. March 21, 2009 12:00 AM
by Jim Gregory

BrrrRRRrrr... Nancy it's cold out there! Don't worry, you're burning calories shivering your butt off. Your body will increase its metabolic rate as it gets colder outside. Maybe this is why Chicago has some of the leanest and ripped men and women!?

Shivering is actually a bunch of involuntary muscle contractions that occur in order to create heat in the body. It's like your body making shake & bake and turning on the oven. Gradually your core temperature will increase to offset your shivering spats, therefore raising your metabolic rate.

Something that is somewhat counter intuitive, is when it becomes warmer than the usual sub-zero Chicago winter weather, your body will further increase it's metabolic rate in order to compensate for the freezing cold weather. Therefore, when the first days of spring roll around for Chicago (around June!), a sudden 60 degree day may feel more like 80 degrees, feeling much hotter than it actually really is. This is because your body's metabolism is running at a faster rate.

Gradually once the beautiful Chicago summer is here and we once again experience the constant beautiful 80 degree weather throughout the week, our metabolic rate adapts and runs slower than what it built itself up to be during the winter. This makes an 80 degree feel as warm as a 60 degree day. This isn't an excuse not to work out during the winter, its only a slight increase in metabolism.

So shiver your butt off on your way to the gym then step it up with resistance training and cardiovascular.

Consistency and persistency counts!