Advantages of Cold Weather For Your Health
Even though cold weather can be harsh, it offers many health benefits as well. Some of these health advantages of cold weather are:
Think Better In Cold Weather!(2) Cold weather boosts brain health and helps people think clearly. Studies show that people are able to perform tasks better when the temperature of the room is at a cooler setting instead of a warmer one. Another research shows that people are more inclined to deal with cognitive problems in the summer, compared to winter, since the summer uses more glucose, which is needed for mental processes.
Lose More Weight in Cold Weather (1, 2): The body works harder for maintaining its core temp in cold temperatures and ends up burning more calories. The body uses a significant amount of energy to stay warm, and humidify the air which it inhales. So, cold weather actually benefits in your weight loss!
Stay Allergy Free in Cold Weather (2): Pollen counts are almost nonexistent in cold and snowy weather. Thus, this is the best time, health wise, for people with outdoor allergies.
Cold Weather Increases Your Metabolism (2): Brown fat is the mitochondria-packed fat cells, which burns energy and produces heat in the body. Only babies were believed to have brown fat. However, recent studies have found that even adults have some brown fat, and people with lower BMI tend to have a higher content of brown fat in their body. It has been proven that when men get exposed to cooler temperatures, they experience an increase in brown fat, and a corresponding boost in metabolism.
Beat Tropical Diseases in Cold Weather (2): One may be more likely to catch a cold during winter, but they are less likely to contract several other diseases, like dengue fever and malaria, which are more prevalent in warmer temperatures.
Cold Weather Improves Your Immunity: The immune system is actually in a better shape to effectively fight infections in cold weather. Research shows that the human immune system can get activated when exposed to cold temperature, thereby improving the body’s ability to ward off infections.
Sleep Longer & Better Thanks to Cold Weather (2): The core temperature of the body drops naturally when trying to sleep. This process can take up to 2 hours in the summer heat, but is much faster in winter. Another upside of cold weather is shorter days and longer nights. This makes sleeping for longer, naturally easier. The body can also burn more calories if the bedroom temperature is set between 15°C and 19°C.
Enjoy Better Complexion in Cold Weather (2): Moderately cold temperature is good for the skin health because it constricts blood vessels in the skin, making them less prone to swelling and redness. The skin also tends to produce less oil and sebum in cold weather, and so the chance of breakouts decreases.
Cold Weather Makes Exercising More Enjoyable!(2) Exercising outdoors during winter helps in strengthening the heart muscles and boosting the cardiac health. Working out in cold weather is not only a fun activity, but a challenging task too. The heart pumps more oxygenated blood, not only for compensating for the activity, but also for ensuring that the body maintains an optimal warm temperature, and preventing the risks from a drop in temperature. However, heart disease patients should be cautious while exercising outdoors during winters.
Disadvantages of Cold Weather For Your Health
The cold weather increases the risk of many health problems, especially for older adults and disadvantages of cold weather are:
- A drop in temperature and humidity makes the body fragile, weak and fatigued.
- It is easier for infectious health issues like coughs, colds, and flu to spread in cold weather.
- Indoor allergies, like mold and dust mite allergies, can worsen in cold weather, since people spend more time indoors during this time.
- Cold weather acts as a vasoconstrictor, i.e. it narrows blood vessels, and raises the risk of heart attack.(3)
- Icy sidewalks in winter increase the risk of falls, which can lead to fractures.
- Dry winter air depletes moisture from the skin making it dehydrated and dull. The skin feels tight, the lips dry out, and the nose reddens in cold weather.
- In cold weather, older adults face a greater risk of hypothermia, a condition in which the body’s internal temperature becomes too low.(4) Even prolonged exposure to mild cold, can trigger this problem.
- Cold weather can also influence a person’s morale. Lack of sunlight and cold can be very disturbing and can affect a person’s mood, energy, appetite and concentration.(5) This is also termed as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
So, the above were the various advantages and disadvantages of cold weather. Now, it’s up to you to decide whether you are a summer person or a winter person!
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