Cold Weather Increases Calorie Burn

February 18, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. calorie / ˈkæl ə ri / (n.) – the amount of energy that food produces in the body
Example: Taking in more calories than your body can burn results in weight gain.   

2. inhibit / ɪnˈhɪb ɪt / (v.) – to prevent something from happening
Example: The doctor prescribed him medicine to inhibit infection.

3. shiver / ˈʃɪv ər / (v.) – to shake
Example: She shivered when the cold breeze blew.

4. in turn / ɪn tɜrn / (idiom) – as a result of something that happened before it
Example: He did not study and, in turn, failed the exams.

5. ideal / aɪˈdi əl / (adj.) – perfect for a purpose
Example: It is ideal to go on a picnic today because it is sunny.


Read the text below.
Recent studies have confirmed that cold temperatures can help people burn more calories.

The cold season is usually a time when people find it hard to move and exercise, and for some, it is also a time for holiday feasts. This combination of less movement and more food intake naturally results to weight gain. However, studies on a type of body fat called “brown fat” and a hormone called irisin ˈaɪ rɪɪn / claim that winter is a time when a persons ability to burn calories increases.

Brown fat activates the body’s ability to burn its own fat to keep warm. On the other hand, irisin, usually called the "exercise hormone," is a hormone that helps the body fight fat in two ways—first, it turns white fat cells, or fat-storing cells, to brown fat cells; and second, it inhibits the formation of fatty tissues.

Irisin is commonly produced during exercise, but recent research found that the production of this hormone is increased when people shiver. Therefore, when people shiver, the body produces irisin, which in turn produces more brown fat. The more brown fat people have, the faster their metabolism becomes.

Because of these findings, it is not surprising that some health experts are encouraging people to do outdoor activities during the cold season. For instance, an exercise psychologist recommends running during days when temperatures are low. He said that the cold season is ideal for running because it puts less stress on the body, compared to running during hot days. Other researchers also reported that exercising outdoors during winter can increase energy, reduce depression, and motivate people to work out habitually.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         After reading the article, would you like to try exercising during cold weather? Why or why not?
·         What are the things that people should observe when exercising outdoors during cold weather?

Discussion B

·         How does weather affect physical activities?
·         For you, which season is the best for exercising? Why?

February 18, 2017