5 Surprising Health Benefits of Cold Weather
I am Canadian and I HATE the cold. Every year as the temperature begins to drop off, I feel the dread set in with the cold. The only things that generally get me through the winters here are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Christmas.
As an attempt to look on the bright side of life, I thought I’d do a deep dive into the research to see if there even was a bright side of freezing my butt off all winter. Well it turns out there are plenty!!!
These surprising health benefits of colder weather inspired me to embrace the cold and get out there as much as I can this winter! I hope you’ll join me!
#1 - IT COULD HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
There are two types of fat on our bodies: white fat and brown fat. White fat is the body’s largest energy reserve (generally the stuff you’re trying to get rid of) and brown fat is a natural type of fat triggered by colder weather to burn off white fat in order to generate heat. All of this is to say, our metabolism increases when we’re cold as a means of keeping us warm, burning additional calories and potentially contributing to your weight loss efforts.
In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, they found that these affects lasted long after the cold exposure, measuring a boost in resting metabolism of 80%! That is not insignificant.
#2 - IT MAY IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP
In studies out of the University of South Australia, it has been confirmed that those suffering from sleep-onset insomnia (the inability to fall asleep) have warmer core body temperatures than other healthy adults - colder weather could help with that!
For all of us, as our bodies get ready to sleep, they naturally lose heat allowing us to comfortably fall asleep. In the summer, this process can take up to two hours, but when it’s a bit cooler in the winter it can happen more quickly and easily.
Plus, with the cold tends to come the dark. The longer you’re in the dark, the easier it is for your brain to convert serotonin to melatonin and naturally drift off!
#3 - IT MAY BOOST COGNITIVE FUNCTION
Research shows that people perform tasks more effectively in colder temperatures as opposed to hot ones.
Furthermore, other research suggests people are less motivated to engage in tough cognitive tasks in the summer, as opposed to the winter. It is hypothesized that this is due to that fact that warmer weather results in increase glucose metabolism, meaning that there is a lower supply for our brain to use - our brain loooooves glucose - hense why you crave sugary treats if you’re not eating well balanced meals and working really hard. I believe this is how the office candy bowl was born.
What all of this says, then is that you’re likely to not only see improved mental performance during colder months but also an increase in motivation and mental stamina!
#4 - IT REDUCES INFLAMMATION
We’ve all put an ice pack on an ouchy before, right? Well, that same concept applies in cold weather. The cold reduces inflammation, which can combat pain, redness and swelling in the body!
This could be especially helpful for athletes to recover from muscle soreness and for those who experience arthritic pain.
Studies show that extremely cold temperates lead to faster recovery for athletes than just rest!
#5 - IT MAY IMPROVE YOUR SKIN
Cold weather can act as an astringent, causing your pores to tighten, making it less likely that they’ll get clogged and breakout.
The cold also slows and prevents the secretion of sebum, the skin’s natural waxy oils - it’s the stuff you POP! Naturally, this reduces the occurrence of whiteheads and acne.
So what do you say? Are these benefits enough to get you to join me outside for a snowball fight? #winteriscoming
COMMENT BELOW if you have any questions at all or just wanna say HEY! I’m always happy to hear from you!
SHARE THIS with your friend who is always grumbling about the cold by clicking the yellow share arrow in the bottom right. Hopefully this will serve as a pick me up.
CHECK OUT this previous post, if you’re still not into letting the cold seep in, about warming foods that will help you warm up throughout the winter from the inside out !