We May Hate It, But Really Cold Weather Has Benefits
The extreme cold is a topic of conversation that's really hard to give up as long as we keep getting windchill advisories right and left along with subzero temperatures. Some find this weather depressing, while others are just getting angry at all the cold.
As a conversation with one of our WROK Morning Show listeners indicates:
If you've found yourself in either category (depressed or angry), maybe taking a look at some of the health benefits of cold weather might make you feel better about things. According to LiveStrong, here are some of the good things we get out of freezing our butts off:
Because the Aedes and Culex mosquitoes aren’t “active” (i.e., they’re hibernating) when it’s below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your chances of contracting these diseases through a mosquito bite diminish considerably.
You're Burning Through The Calories
Our bodies are padded with two kinds of fat: white fat and brown fat. While white fat is the largest energy reserve in the body, brown fat burns calories to generate heat. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation examined the metabolism of six healthy men after exposing them to cold (without making them shiver). After the experiment they found that their brown fat burned white fat and the subjects’ resting energy expenditure — meaning metabolism — increased by 80 percent, according to The New York Times.
Falling Asleep Comes Easier
One way to bring on sleep is to lower the room temperature. Similarly, as reported in Time, a study of insomniacs performed by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that people who suffer from insomnia have more action going on in the frontal lobes of their brains — the planning part — hence the common complaint about the inability to turn off their brains. By literally cooling off their heads, the study subjects fell asleep almost as fast as those without insomnia.
Complexion Problems Get Cleared Up
According to StyleCaster, cold weather can act as an astringent, tightening pores, reducing the likelihood of clogs and leaving you less prone to breakouts. It also slows and prevents the secretion of sebum (the skin’s natural waxy oils produced by the sebaceous glands), helping keep shiny skin and acne at bay. Also, just as cryotherapy is said to slow aging and add a youthful glow, a walk outside in the cold can do the same.
Cold Weather Can Pull You Out of a Dark Mood
Sure, it gets dark at 4 p.m. That in and of itself can be a real bummer. But if you find yourself succumbing to the winter doldrums, an outdoor winter workout can be mighty medicinal. In an article about the benefits of cold-weather workouts in Vogue, the one-two punch of the sun’s spirit-lifting rays and exercise endorphins can boost your mood significantly.
Not only does cold weather have some health benefits, so does taking a cold shower:
Here's a little more on why cold showers should be something that we all embrace: