After the fun of the holiday season passes, the reality sets in that— for most of us—winter is really just three more months of freezing-cold weather. But there’s a benefit to stepping outside in the bone-chilling cold: You burn more calories.
Research has shown when you shiver, your body produces a hormone called irisin. And that turns white fat—the kind that gives us stomach rolls—into brown fat, which burns calories to create heat.
This isn’t to say spending time in the cold is a replacement for eating healthy and working out. (Plus, you should limit how much time you spend outside when the temps dip below freezing, so you don’t put yourself at risk of hypothermia.) But when you find yourself dreaming of white, sandy beaches as your teeth chatter and your ears redden, know there’s at least one upside to the cold weather. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll start feeling like Elsa: