Scientists have found that even a brisk walk, which is associated with increased levels of carbon dioxide, can help keep a person warm.
A study of nearly 4,000 people over a four-year period found that walking at least five minutes per day was associated with a 30% decrease in body temperature compared with people who did not exercise.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
The authors of the study say the findings offer “new insight into the effects of exercise and other physical activity” on the body.
The study was led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Veterinary College in Edinburgh, University College London and University College Dublin.
Dr Pauline McEvoy, a member of the team, said: “We found that those who walked at least three times per week were able to maintain body temperature in a cold environment at around 33 degrees, while those who were not active at all were able in that environment to maintain their body temperature below 28 degrees.”
Our findings suggest that walking or cycling can be a safe, practical and effective way of increasing the body’s thermoregulatory capacity in the cold and in hot weather.
Dr McElvoy said the study had been prompted by an urgent need to understand how exercise can help prevent illness and prevent premature death. “
The finding of this study was that a brisk, continuous walk of at least 15 minutes is a safe and effective strategy for increasing the thermoregatherers ability to maintain a body temperature that is well below the 27-degree target,” she said.
Dr McElvoy said the study had been prompted by an urgent need to understand how exercise can help prevent illness and prevent premature death.
She said: “[The results] show that people who exercise in warm conditions can maintain a relatively normal body temperature and avoid the most dangerous conditions.”
These findings can be useful in informing the health advice given to people, and also providing further evidence that exercise may help protect against certain conditions, such as cardiovascular disease.
“The study followed more than 4,400 people over four years.
They were followed up at least every three months and the data was analysed by two experts.
The results showed that exercise in cold weather was associated to an overall increase in body weight.
However, there was no change in body mass index.
The researchers say the data “shows that there are potential benefits for exercising in hot environments, especially in the context of reduced exposure to the elements, which in turn increases the thermosensitive capacity of the body”.
Dr Michael Schulz, of the Royal Society for Public Health, said the research “opens up new opportunities for further investigation”. “
It also suggests that a positive correlation between exercise and body weight and the number of metabolic pathways is likely, as these processes are activated by a range of different types of exercise.”
Dr Michael Schulz, of the Royal Society for Public Health, said the research “opens up new opportunities for further investigation”.
He said: If people are trying to stay cool during a cold winter, it’s important that they are exercising regularly, including a brisk walking walk.
“These results highlight the importance of regular exercise to prevent and reduce cardiovascular disease, but the role of exercise in reducing obesity and improving the health of the general population will remain an open question.”