Cold Hearted: The Health Benefits Of Cold Climates
Damn, it’s cold.
Old Jack Frost and all that jazz have been hitting us sporadically lately, and it’s only going to get worse, what with the time of year. As the seasons change to the lower temps, here in the northern hemisphere, you got to wonder what our ancestors were thinking. Would it really have been so hard to migrate south?
But it is what it is. We will have sidewalks to salt, engines to antifreeze, and layer upon layer to apply before exiting our warm abodes. Thanks a lot, pilgrims.
Maybe there is something good about being in the cold that we’re overlooking? It can’t be all bad, can it?
Here are some of the health benefits of cold climates…
Anyone who has experienced the awful thing snow is will know the body doesn’t care for it either. The natural reaction to enough of a drop in temperature is to shiver. Your whole body undulates between tensing up and relaxing, the shift between these states taking less than seconds, trying to build heat by the motion. The secret bonus to that is your body is also burning calories, up to 400 an hour, if you can stand the cold that long. (Don’t try to stay that cold that long, silly. You might break something.)
Your blood tends to pump more in the chilly winter air, trying to keep you warm, as you are a mammal. Ever notice how in the super heat of summer, a lot of people tend to get sluggish? The circulation doesn’t need to work as hard to keep them at the standard 98.6 degrees. Cooler climates demand the heart start pumping a little hard, better, and faster. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease in the right doses. Cold makes your body work more. And that, my friends, why our cheeks get pink!
Being cold may help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol. Recent research shows that temperature drops can increase the hormone adiponectin, a protein made in fat cells, that helps the body fight those two major issues, as well as improve artery health. Scientists found that production of this protein increased when their subject were exposed to lower temperatures, and the results in production under those conditions were better than the those with drug therapy.
So, complain about the cold all you want. It’s not going anywhere until maybe March. In the meantime, you’re reaping its chilly rewards.