Here are some of the health benefits of the cold weather:
- Cold weather burns more calories. Recent research has shown that simply being cold burns more calories, as your body workers harder to maintain its temperature. It may also trigger “brown fat” in the body, a good fat that can burn off other “white” fat.
- It brings us closer together. During periods of weather-induced isolation, you are more likely to reach out to your family and friends on the phone and tend to chat with them for longer than usual, reducing stress and promoting happiness.
- It’s less favourable for disease-carrying bugs. Mosquitoes and ticks have a much harder time surviving in winter, drastically reducing your risk of contracting diseases they can carry, like West Nile virus and Lyme disease.
- It makes you appreciate warmer days. Come summer, the memory of these cold days will make you cherish and take advantage of the warm ones even more. Think bike rides, strolls around the lake, and outdoor picnics with friends. We can't wait, either.
- It reduces inflammation. Just like putting ice on an injury, cold weather reduces inflammation and pain all over your body. Professional athletes and spa-goers have even taken to “cryotherapy” treatments, in which they are exposed to extremely cold temperatures for a short period of time in order to reduce pain and speed workout recovery.
- It allows you to focus on exercise for the right reasons. Lack of a perpetual bikini season in Minnesota offers a temporary escape from the pressure to have a perfectly beach-worthy body. It also gives you a chance to focus on fitness for health and energy, not just purely for appearance.