Ok, ok, we all know that for many people the cold and snow bring certain challenges, which are difficult to deal with. But it may surprise you to learn that there are some health benefits to the weather – read our five reasons to love the snow to find out more!
- Snow goes hand-in-hand with cold weather and getting outside and taking some exercise in the cold increases the calories you burn just to stay warm. So don’t stay under the duvet – go for a walk or a run in the great outdoors and burn some fat!
- New babies are born with brown fat – special fat which helps control temperature. It was thought that we lost this fat when we became adults but recent research shows that we retain brown fat cells in our upper chest and neck, which reactivate when we get cold. The benefit? Brown fat burns more calories to keep us warm.
- We all walk more gingerly in the snow as we try not to fall over, and staying upright calls into action all our core muscles (the muscles around our trunk) as we try to stay balanced. Strong core muscles help in all our physical activities and prevent falls and injuries as we age. So put on your walking shoes and take a (careful) walk in the snow for some great core strengthening exercise.
- Your body finds a sudden change in temperature, such as that you experience when you go outside on a cold day, mildly stressful – and as we now know, a small amount of something stressful (as opposed to continuous chronic stress) is good for your health, especially your immune system. So don’t hover next to the radiator all day – try getting outside to give your immune system a boost.
- However inconvenient the snow can be when we’re trying to get to work, you only need to go to the local park to see how it brings out the child in all of us. Whether we’re having snowball fights or sledging downhill, there’s nothing like a snowy day to ditch the usual routine and have some fun. It’s been known for years that laughter and happiness bring big benefits to health, so what further incentive do we need to get the sledge out of the attic and have some good old-fashioned fun?