Horror Films Good For Your Waistline?

horrorWe tend to watch horror films for the thrill and the heart pounding anxiety that they cause us, and less so for the story lines. We enjoy those feelings when we are willingly participating in them, although in another environment they might cause you a little too much agitation. Well it turns out that the adrenaline jolts you get while watching a scary movie might actually help you burn more calories. That’s one way to turn your couch potato habits around.

A study at the University of Westminster conducted a study to see what sort of side effects watching scary movies has on the body, and the most exciting one that they found is that it can help you lose weight.

When we feel that fear and our blood pumps faster and our heart rate increases, the adrenaline starts to flow, and the result it is similar to what happens when we are exercising such as during a weight lifting session. When you experience a surge of adrenaline it can actually put a decrease on your appetite and you might feel less hungry and less likely to snack while you are watching the movie. It can also help to increase your basal metabolic rate, which means that you will be burning more calories than you were if you were watching a different kind of movie.

This study found that the average horror film can actually make your body burn around 100 calories. It is not enough of a burn to skip your workout for the day, but it might counteract some of that popcorn you’re eating. All types of frightening movies can increase your calorie burn, but they found that the ones that actually surprise you and cause you to startle are going to get your heart rate up higher and burn more calories. This is because when you get surprised your body actually perceives that it is in danger and goes into a bit of the fight of flight mode. The study did not however go into the details of what purposefully inciting stress levels in the body can do to your overall health or mood once the movie is done. It is pretty common knowledge that stress is helpful to a certain extent but that excessive stress can create releases of cortisol in the body that can lower the immune system and mess with your sleep schedule. If you get so frightened watching a scary movie that you have trouble sleeping that night, then the calorie burn is not worth sitting through the movie. Sleep is crucial for keeping the hormones in check that regulate how we store fat, so you want to aim to get enough shut eye each night.

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Categories: Weight Loss