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Here are some of the ways we can take advantage of the cooler weather, to help us lose weight AND stay healthy:

First, don’t be afraid to exercise in the cold. Because research in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows we actually run faster, and work out longer, in cooler temperatures. It’s mainly because the body has to exert less energy to keep us cool – compared to, say, running on a hot day. And it makes sense that the more muscle we build through exercise, the more calories we’ll burn each day. Which makes us less likely to pack on the pounds.

Also, don’t worry about getting sick when you’re out in the cold. A lot of people think cold air increases our risk for catching infections. But according to Dr. Rachel Vreeman, a professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, the exact opposite is true. Because cold air stresses the body in a way that causes it to release more infection-fighting white blood cells, so we’re LESS likely to get sick. It’s being cooped up indoors that exposes us to more germs from other people. And, the air quality tends to be cleaner outside, compared to indoors.

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