Most people aren’t fans of cold weather. And it makes perfect sense, too. Who wants to deal with frostbite, shorter days, and sniffles?
But the cold comes with perks. It can actually boost your health, if you look at the bigger picture.
Unexpected Health Benefits Of Cold Weather
Thanks to these five benefits, you’ll learn how to embrace the bitter cold (and your blankets).
1. Burns Calories
While we all know that movement burns calories, most of us aren’t really sure of how much movement does so. The truth is that even the smallest, seemingly insignificant movement can burn calories – maybe a fraction of a calorie, but energy is used nonetheless. And yes, that involves shivering.
Humans have brown fat, a type of fat that uses energy to make body heat. According to The Journal of Clinical Investigation, shivering increases brown fat activity. The result is higher total energy expenditure, meaning more calories are burned.1 Who knew shivering was so productive?
Obviously, you won’t drop a dress size by sitting in the cold. However, it’ll add to your weight loss efforts, even when you’re not trying.
2. Improves Body Odor
Warm temperature comes with a trade-off: Sweating! It’s the top reason for body odor, something no one likes to deal with.
Body odor develops when bacteria on the skin mixes with sweat. It comes from the spots where you have the most sweat glands, like the armpits and feet. Some people have more glands than others.2
When it’s cold, you sweat a lot less. Does it mean you can skip taking a shower? Of course not. Yet, you can’t deny that low temperatures make personal hygiene a lot more manageable.
3. Decreases Acne
Heavy sweating is a major culprit of acne. It promotes bacterial buildup, and for some people, gets those sebaceous glands up and running. The result is clogged pores of bacteria, oil, and dirt.3
The chances of you perspiring profusely in cold weather are slimmer than slim. It’ll also be easier to wear makeup, which won’t run and get greasy and gross.
Don’t forget to moisturize, though. Low temperatures can dry out your skin, so it’s vital to do what you can to keep your skin hydrated.
4. Prevents Disease-Carrying Bugs
Insects go crazy in hot weather. For instance, mosquitos are more common during the summer. Infected mosquitos may spread diseases like Zika, West Nile, or malaria, depending on the location.4
In the United States, ticks are another problem. They can cause a ton of issues, but Lyme disease is the most common. Over 22,500 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2010.5
Luckily, cold weather is like a natural insect repellant. You won’t have to worry about mosquitos, ticks, or other creepy crawlies come winter. When the temperatures drop – so do the bugs.
5. Increases Appreciation For The Seasons
The cold can be miserable, but it has perks for gratitude and mental health. Think about it. If it was always warm and sunny, would you enjoy it as much? It’d be great at first, but the excitement would die down. You might take it for granted without realizing it.
Cold weather gives us a chance to miss other seasons. It’s a great way to pay keen attention to nature and its amazing changes. By the time spring hits, your appreciation will have developed.
Despite these benefits, it’s important to stay safe. Protect your immune system by eating well and getting enough sleep. Keep an eye out for black ice, and most of all, bundle up!
|↑1||Ouellet, Véronique, Sébastien M. Labbé, Denis P. Blondin, Serge Phoenix, Brigitte Guérin, François Haman, Eric E. Turcotte, Denis Richard, and André C. Carpentier. “Brown adipose tissue oxidative metabolism contributes to energy expenditure during acute cold exposure in humans.” The Journal of clinical investigation 122, no. 2 (2012): 545.|
|↑2||Body Odor. Center for Young Women’s Health. Boston Children’s Hospital.|
|↑3||Acne. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑4||Mosquito-Borne Diseases. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.|
|↑5||Tick-Borne Diseases. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.|