Our bodies contain more than one type of fat. The type of fat that stores energy is ‘white fat’ (this is the type of fat we want to lose). There is also ‘brown fat’, which is found in the neck, back and heart regions. Its colour comes from the high density of mitochondria (the energy producing cells). Brown fat burns energy to produce heat. As infants we have a high proportion of brown fat. As we age, our brown fat turns to beige, which is less metabolically active. The good news though – when we exercise, our muscles produce a hormone called irisin, which converts this beige fat back to metabolically active brown fat. Exposure to cold does the same thing. Exercise in the cold and the benefits double! Even better news…calorie-burning brown fat has the potential to reduce white fat!
So if there’s an upside to this cold and blustery winter with lots of snow to shovel, this may be it!
One of the many interesting tidbits shared by Dr. Sylvia Tara in her book “The Secret Life of Fat”