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Does Working Out In The Cold Make You Sick?

I’ve been getting a ton of pushback lately about going outside in the cold weather and it possibly making you sick.  I for one hate cold weather, so beleive me, I would look for any excuse possible to not be in the cold. The reality is, there has been research on this beleif, and I thought you should know some of the facts so I’ve put together a few thing for you.

The first is a video talking about being outside in the cold weather.


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So the jury may still be out on exercising in cold weather right?

In the book, “Don’t Swallow Your Gum! Myths, Half-Truths and Outright Lies About Your Body and Health,” by Dr. Aaron E. Carroll and Dr. Rachel C. Vreeman, the put the myth to bed. After interpreting the research, here’s what they had to day:

‘In studies of cold transmission, people who are chilled are no more likely to get sick than those who were not. It may be that cold weather keeps people indoors, where germs are more likely to catch up with you.’

I also read in a few articles recently that when you expose yourself to cold weather your immune system gets a boost, so that’s a possibility as well.

Another benefit to exercising in cold weather is that the body has to work harder to increase your core body temperature. This causes you to burn more fat while you train. In fact, there are studies on the phenomenon called cold thermogenesis, where the cold exposure increases the body’s production of brown adipose tissue. This in turn increases basal metabolic rate and increases the body’s fat burning capacity throughout the day. Using this research, I heard an interview with a guy who lost over 100lbs just by going on what he called ‘shiver walks,’ where he would deliberately not bundle up in the snowy weather and go for long walks in order to increase his cold exposure. He also sat in ice baths as well. Not only did he lose body fat, but studies have shown that this type of cold thermogenesis increasing the production of Human Growth Hormone. HGH increases lean body mass, and decreases body fat.

Knowing what all of this, in my opinion, I think as long as there isn’t icy conditions where a slip or fall is a concern, we should be training outside. What are your thoughts?

1-11-15 WOD



Met Con:

Thrusters x 20 (Fran weight)

Burpees x 20

DU x 20 or Singles x 100

3 rounds for time

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