There’s no doubt about it, when the weather drops, most of us want to do nothing but dive back under the covers. Winter can be tough on our bodies and overall wellbeing. But it’s not all bad! Here are 7 health benefits of cold weather:
1. Cooler temperatures boost your brain: It can help people think more clearly. Research shows that people perform tasks better when the is cooler rather than warmer. Also, people are less inclined to tackle cognitive problems in the summer opposed to winter, because the summer uses more glucose that’s needed for mental processes.
2. Help you burn calories: When it’s cold, your body works harder to maintain your body temperatures. Stacy Tucker, RN, natural health expert, founder of Almeda Labs, states, “Our bodies use a considerable amount of energy to keep us warm, and humidify the air we breathe when we’re out in the cold.
3. Increases brown fat: Most fat in us appears to be whitish in color, while brown fat is the mitochondria-packed fat cells that burn energy and produces heat in the body. “It was thought that only babies had brown fat, however, a study found that adults have some brown fat, and people with lower body mass index (BMI) tended to have a higher content of brown fat,” Tucker says. Research has shown that when men are exposed to cooler temps, they have an increase in brown fat and a corresponding boost in metabolism.
4. Improves allergies: pollen counts are virtually nonexistent in cold and snowy weather. If you have indoor allergies, however, you’re not in the clear, because mold and dust mite allergies can be worse during the winter, especially if you’re spending more time indoors, says Tucker.
5. Lower inflammation: your joints feel less swollen or puffy in the winter, because the cold air acts like a natural ice pack to decrease inflammation.
6. Lower risk of diseases: in the winter we are more likely to catch a cold, but in the clear for several diseases and viruses that are prevalent in warmer temps.
7. Sleep better: Tucker states, “Your body’s core temp naturally drops when you’re trying to sleep; this process can take up to two hours in the heat of summer but is much faster in winter.”
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