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5 Reasons Why Winter Can Be Healthier For You



weather and health

Winter in Baytown and the Houston area is, well, not like most parts of the country. The temperatures can still rise to the 80s. Most nights are great for socializing outdoors. And any hint of snow can shut down the entire city. But chilly temps provide more than a few benefits than relief from summer’s sizzling heat and humidity. Here are a few reasons to celebrate the dipping mercury.

Lower temperatures are better for sleeping

No, it’s true. While it sounds like the last thing you want while trying to get some shut-eye, cooler temperatures are better for sleep. Several studies found that optimal sleep occurs between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, when the cooler core temperature triggers sleepiness. Conversely, higher body temperature is often associated with restlessness.

Plus, it’s also a great way to help lower the AC bill.

Colder weather is not-so-friendly for bugs

And by bugs, we mean the disease-carrying kind, like mosquitoes, with which many Houstonians are familiar. If Houston had a city bird, it would probably be the mosquito. Thankfully, falling temperatures and drier air lessens the likelihood that these insects can make and sustain breeding grounds. This is great news, as mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile and Zika have continued to spread.

Reduces inflammation

Exercising in the cold is often seen as bad for your health, but turns out that’s more a myth.

The rise in cryotherapy (i.e., think a cold pack powered by liquid nitrogen) in sports medicine and its association with quicker recovery times suggests outdoor winter activity is less punishing than warmer months.

Encourages higher metabolism

Believe it or not, your body fat has different colors. So-called “brown fat” is responsible for regulating body temperature and burning calories. Although we have more brown fat as babies and it disappears over time as we age, adults still have brown fat. One study found that “moderately cool temperatures of 61 ° F activated brown fat” in a small group of volunteers.

Perhaps this is another reason to leave the window open?

Better for decision-making

Perhaps a scientific study was unnecessary to uncover this fact, but researchers found cognitive performance improved in cooler temperatures than in warmer. The study measured a participant’s abilities to proofread a document and found more errors were made in warmer climates. In case you’re wondering, the optimal temperature was 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

So the next time you have to make a big decision, make sure you check the thermometer. Of course, considering Houston requires AC a majority of the year, finding a cold room may be easier than you think.

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