With winter fast approaching, it might seem tempting to ditch your daily walk. But when it comes to getting fit, chilly temperatures might actually be a good thing.
That’s because your overall metabolic rate increases in cold weather thanks to something called thermogenesis, the calorie-burning process by which the body generates heat. Add physical activity into the mix, and the benefits might be boosted even further: One 2017 study published in the American Journal of Human Biology found that a group of 53 hikers burned more calories in cold weather than warm, leading to weight loss for both men and women.
If you’re looking for a low-impact way to stay active (and perhaps even shed some pounds) in the months to come, here’s what experts suggest to weatherproof your winter walking routine.
Perfect your winter wardrobe
There’s a phrase in Scandinavia, where physical activity is winter is highly encouraged: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”
Dressing for the cold means layering, says Portland, Oregon-based walking coach Judy Heller, founder of the group Wonders of Walking.