There are some surprising benefits to being cold!
It might not seem very attractive to turn down the heat and take a lukewarm shower. But you might actually want to try it sometime. Not just because it will save you some money on your energy bill, but also because of the surprising benefits that being cold can have on your body ánd mind.
Healthy blood vessels
We know that it isn’t a comfortable feeling to be chilly. But there is a lot happening in your body when the temperature goes down. Thermophysiologist Wouter van Marken, from the University in Maastricht, told Happy in Shape that your nervous system springs into action as soon as the temperature drops. The blood vessels in your skin narrow which will help your body with keeping you warm. When you purposely choose to be cold, you train your blood vessels to keep you warm more efficiently. And it will make your blood vessels more flexible. It is like a workout for your nervous system! Another benefit to exposing yourself to the cold, is that your blood pressure will eventually get lower.
If you don’t think 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius) is cold enough, you could lower the temperature indoors to a freezing 59. When your body senses the temperature around you, it will send a signal to your so called ‘brown fat’. This is a type of fat that regulates the temperature of your body. When you get really cold, your brown fat makes sure that you stay warm. According to Van Marken, usually this brown fat will turn sugar and fat into fuel for your cells. But when you get cold, the brown fat will stop producing fuel and will just provide you with warmth. This activity will cause you to burn more nutrients and that is great for your metabolism.
Another great benefit to being cold, is that it could have a positive effect on your mental health and it could reduce stress. So whenever you feel cold, instead of getting out a sweater to fight it, you might as well enjoy it for a little bit!
Source: Happy in Shape | Image: Unsplash, Matthew Henry