A fit body is more efficient at generating heat and maintaining a stable core temperature, which means it’s less likely to suffer from hypothermia.
But does being fit make you less cold? Not exactly.
“There’s this misconception that if you’re fit, you can run across the Arctic in a T-shirt,” says Dr. Jack Callaghan, an exercise physiologist at the University of Portsmouth in England. “But it’s not true.”
In fact, being fit can actually make you more susceptible to hypothermia because your body has developed better ways to preserve heat. The issue is balancing heat production with heat loss.
“If you’re moving around outside, then some of your body heat will be lost through convection and radiation,” says Callaghan. “But if you’re not exercising [and] sitting still inside somewhere warm, then your body temperature will drop until it matches that environment.”
Last modified: August 9, 2022