Looking for a cool new exercise? And when we say cool, we mean cooool. The hottest new trend is cold workouts, where the heat is off and the air con's pumping for a chilly studio temp of 40 - 65 degrees Fahrenheit (4 - 18 degrees Celsius). Sounds like the perfect alternative exercise to sweating it out when it's scorching outdoors? Check it out:
Research says a cold workout is a more efficient way for you to exercise – you have to work harder to maintain your core body temperature so you use more energy in the form of calories, plus cold temperatures can result in a faster post-workout recovery.
Trend-savvy gyms have cottoned onto the trend, with many of them adding cold room workouts, keeping the temperature nice and chilly. Touted as the "world's first cool temperature fitness concept" (with instructors that "are cool 'cause the thermostat says so") Brrrn in New York City offers cold room yoga at 60 degrees, core at 55 degrees and HIIT classes at 45 degrees F.
When you’re cold, your body is constantly working to maintain its normal body temperature. It does this by burning energy to maintain heat production, meaning it could be burning more calories at the same time.
- Kristin Stanford, PhD
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
5 Benefits of a Cold Workout
- Burn more calories
Your body works harder in the cold to get and stay warm, and therefore uses more energy and burns more calories.
- Faster post-workout recovery
Athletes have long alternated hot and cold therapies to soothe sore muscles. Working out in the cold may
- Elevates your mood and keeps in the moment
Research at Duke University found that cold cardio workouts are four times more effective at reducing symptoms of depression compared with antidepressants.
- Lets you workout harder
Cold workouts can build endurance by making your heart work harder and more efficiently.
- Strengthens your cardiovascular system by forcing your heart to pump harder
Your heart and blood need to pump harder in the cold, which is an excellent benefit to working out in the cold.
According to Shape, one benefit you won't get from cold workouts is skipping the sweat: You're still going to sweat when you work out, even if you're working out in a 45-degree room.
A Love Letter to Cold
In a humorous twist, Brrrn has a Dear John letter to Heat posted on its website:
I’ve been sweating this relationship for way too long and enough is enough.
I used to look forward to being with you - especially in the summer. But that all changed once we started working out together. You became excessive to the point of exhaustion. "I'll help you detox!", you said. Well guess what, buddy? That's what my kidneys and liver are for.
Truth is, I deserve to be in a healthy relationship with someone who doesn't steal my energy or act like a hot-head all the time. I need someone more chill, a partner that gives me goosebumps when I'm around them - not an itchy rash.
So goodbye, Heat. May the shoulder that you cry on be as cold as my heart.
Hot yoga's still hot
Not everyone's a fan of the fitness freeze, especially hot yoga enthusiasts who say the benefits of practicing yoga in a heated room outweigh those found in cold rooms. Hot-room workouts increase pulse rate and metabolism so your blood vessels become more flexible and make your body burn more calories, making circulation easier and increases blood flow to the limbs.
Are you game for donning the gloves and hats and sweating it out in the cold?