Whether you live for a good adrenaline rush or your beau finally convinced you to watch that based-on-a-true-story exorcism film, sitting down to a scary movie can actually help you burn off some calories, according to a study published in the journal Stress. To come to this finding, researchers compared subjects who sat through a scary film to those who did not. They found that those who endured the horror had higher levels of infection-triggered white blood cells. This natural fight-or-flight response raises adrenaline levels, heart rate, and the body’s metabolic rate, resulting in a temporary metabolism boost and subsequent calorie burn.
How many calories, exactly? A study conducted by the University of Westminster showed that participants who endured ten horror flicks burned an average of 113 calories per film. Considering you’d have to jump rope for 15 minutes to burn the same number of calories, that seems like a pretty good deal. Not to mention, it's a great excuse to rent something super-scary this upcoming Halloweekend.
Want to get more burn for your buck? Watch Stephen King’s The Shining. Researchers found that participants who trembled through the film were so terrified that they screamed off a whopping 184 calories. That’s what you'd find in almost seven cups of buttery movie theater popcorn!
But this doesn't mean you should use scary movies as an excuse to mindlessly munch while you’re cringing at the edge of your seat. Doing that could totally counteract these benefits. That said, we suggest skipping the butter-slathered stuff and pre-portioning your snacks before you sit down to a hair-raising film to further help you beat the bulge. And for even more ways to stay slim while engaging in your favorite pastime, check out these 10 Ways To Lose Weight While Watching TV before your next Netflix binge!