We’re all aware of the negative aspects of cold weather, influenza and colds, less fresh veggies, staying inside too much, the negative effect on your blood pressure, oh yeah and the temperature.
The benefits of cold weather might be a little more obscure, but they exist! Here are 5 surprising benefits that cold weather brings:
You might have noticed less insects like flies buzzing around when the weather is cold. The cold weather helps nullify the effects of diseases borne from insects and micro-organisms. In fact it’s been speculated that if our climate changes and the world heats up our winters may lose some power to kill of these pests and micro-organisms, causing disease rates to climb.
The cold can help burn off fat
Decreasing temperatures have an effect of activating our ‘brown fat’, the heat-producing, calorie-burning type of fat that the bodies of infants make use of to help regulate body temperature. Most brown fat tends to dissolve away as we age, but we still retain some of it into adulthood. It’s been proven that people who work outdoors burn more brown fat than those who work indoors, and that even moderately cool temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit can activate brown fat in our body.
Cold weather can bring us closer to our ‘support network’
Analyses have been made that show there’s a larger number of phone calls in uncomfortable weather, whether hot or cold, and the length of our calls are increased. However the people we make contact with goes down. When we ‘isolate’ ourselves during extreme weather conditions, data has shown that we’re more likely to stay in contact with family and close friends than our wider social network, which helps cement connections with the greatest sources of support.
Cold weather makes you appreciate fair weather!
You might believe that living in a warm and sunny climate will make you more happy, but studies have shown that having warm weather and sunshine day after day doesn’t help make you any more happy, and hot summers tend to make us irritated.
What does improve peoples’ moods are unusually warm or bright days after a series of cooler and darker ones!
Cold weather might extend life
This is new research, but a study in Cell shows that cold to freezing temperatures might not be bad at all, and may even help extend life. University of Michigan researchers have discovered that worms who were exposed to persistent cold temperature react with a genetic response that improves longevity. It’s still too soon to see whether this applies to human beings, but it’s possible that it does, because the genetic pathways involved in the study of the worms are also found in humans.