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5 benefits of the cold

5 benefits of the cold

Of course there is a lot to complain about when it's cold, but the cold also has benefits for your health.

1. You are more productive and sharper

You can concentrate better at lower temperatures. British research shows that people perform tasks better in a cool room than in a warm one, and that productivity is up to 20% lower in summer than in winter. Possible explanation:in the summer your brain needs more glucose (fuel) to function. Because of heat, your blood sugar drops faster than usual and that needs to be restored. Research by the University of Helsinki shows that we are most productive at temperatures between 15 and 25 degrees. There is quite a difference, but it seems that the influence of cold is positive for productivity.

2. You burn more calories

Winter is the time to lose some weight. Research, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, shows that your immune system and metabolism are boosted by cold. According to the researchers, the cold makes your body produce so-called catecholamines (hormones that stimulate fat loss). This mainly tackles fat around the abdomen and fat reserves. A cold bedroom can also contribute to your dream figure:it stimulates your metabolism and could even lower the risk of diabetes in the long term. You also burn more calories at low temperatures:because your metabolism goes into turbo mode, your body has to work harder to regulate your body temperature. By the way, don't expect miracles, because it only involves a little extra combustion.

3. Improve your sports performance

A study from the University of Massachusetts shows that endurance athletes perform better in the cold. The researchers found that the fastest times were run at temperatures between 1 and 10 °C. At higher temperatures, times got worse. The optimum temperature is 5°C. This is because higher outside temperatures not only put more strain on the circulatory system, but also ensure that the muscles receive less oxygen. And by the way, did you know that exercising outside also makes you happier? Endurance training in the cold makes your body produce the happiness hormone serotonin. This even works four times better against depressive moods than antidepressants, according to a study by the American Duke University.

4. Your skin looks more beautiful

In winter the air is dry. The combination of cold air and the heating on is killing. Moisturizing cream, hand cream and lip balm are your lifesaver. According to Harvard Medical School, cold increases the flexibility of blood vessels:They shrink (so you lose less heat) and dilate as soon as you enter a warm room, giving you red cheeks and a healthy glow. You don't have to worry about a shiny head either. Your skin produces less oil and sebum in the winter, which results in matte skin and fewer pimples. And as if that didn't make you beautiful enough, cold also promotes your blood circulation, which prevents bags under the eyes.

5. You sleep better

When you try to fall asleep, your body temperature drops. In the summer that process can take up to two hours, while in the winter you cool down much faster. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, you also tend to sleep longer in winter:because it gets dark earlier, your body starts producing the sleep hormone melatonin earlier. Just give in, because a good night's sleep really only has advantages.

Text:Kim van der Meulen | Image:Shutterstock