Cold weather can be a sweet relief from hot days. It gives the perfect excuse to wear a comfy sweater, have a hot cup of cocoa, and binge-watch your favourite series and movies. As pleasant as this may sound, there are still downsides to having cold weather. Severe cold conditions are when igniting the fireplace or getting commercial heaters for rent may be necessary. Knowing how cold weather can affect your mind and body and what you can do about it can mean the difference between a comfortably chill day to a bitterly cold one.
The Cool Times
The body has ways to maintain the ideal core temperature of 37°C. If the temperature is low, the body will generate heat through the process called thermogenesis. This process uses energy, AKA calories. If you are trying to lose weight, being in the cold can help squeeze out a few extra pounds.
The cold temperature can make your mind sharper. A study found that people in cold conditions could recognise metaphors, better, could come up with creative and original names for pasta, and be abstract with gift ideas.
Besides yourself, the cold may also be beneficial for your wallet. People tend to spend more during the summer. Warm days and sunlight elicit a happy-go-lucky attitude that can remove people’s inhibitions, including spending. Thus, people may not spend as much on colder days.
The Cold Comfort
Expressions like “hot head” and “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” are prime examples of how we connect heat with hostility. However, the cold can also stir some unfriendly emotions. Several studies have found that just like with uncomfortable heat, uncomfortable cold can push people’s buttons.
German scientists also found that cold temperatures can make people more judgemental. The scientists found that people in a cold room were more likely to connect premeditation to criminals, putting a literal meaning to the expression “cold-blooded”. It seems that the brain relates physical feelings of low temperature to figurative representations of cold.
Feeling down during cold weather is something that health professionals already recognise. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a medical condition whose causes are still unknown. During cold weather, symptoms can manifest similar to major depressive disorder. These include sadness, fatigue, insomnia, loss of interest, and changes in appetite.
This last symptom is terrible news if you are looking to lose some extra weight. Besides the change in appetite that Seasonal Affective Disorder can cause, the cold weather can cause you to crave carbs. Foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread and potatoes can raise body temperature. Carbs can also give you a spike in serotonin, which is the “happy hormone”. Craving carbs may be the body’s way of not only trying to stay warm but also coping with the decline in mood.
Don’t Get Cold Feet
Just as excessive heat can be dangerous, so can the cold. Thus, it is wise to keep warm when you can no longer take the lower temperatures. The simplest way is through clothing. Cold days are perfect for wearing layers. Wear thick and insulating clothing to trap body heat.
You can always turn up the heat. There are commercial heaters for rent if you don’t have any. Spending a little extra cash to stay comfortable is better than shivering through the night.
If you are a lover of hot and spicy food, then cold days are perfect for indulging yourself. Enjoy a rich hot cup of cocoa. Have a go at some spicy Asian dishes.