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Let's Make the Best of the Rest of Winter

Dr. Nichole Nygren

Feb 19, 2023

Benefits of winter air

If you’re like most people, you’re over winter already! 

Don’t despair though, I’m here to help you embrace it —just a  little longer at least!  Because no matter what the ground hog said, we all know February is, well February! Which equals COLD! So I’d like to focus on the bright side and you should too!

You may think you hate it, but exposure to cold fresh air actually has many health benefits. Check out these 4 in particular.

1. Cold air helps us sleep better, boosting immunity. One of the best natural remedies for boosting immunity is not necessarily mega-doses of vitamin C or more Echinacea, it’s getting enough sleep! Sleeping in a slightly colder room will actually help you sleep better.  SO turn that thermostat down and get cozy under warm covers.

2.  Cold temps can help you burn more fat and calories. Long-term exposure to mildly cooler temperatures can help your body produce more beneficial brown fat, leading to enhanced metabolism. Most all of us could use a metabolism boost, especially after holiday eating.

3.  Cold temps can reduce exercise induced inflammation. Just like an ice pack helps soothe strained or sore muscles, science says cold temperatures can help reduce workout soreness. I feel pretty great after an outdoor cold run!

4.  Cold air supports allergy sufferer lungs. Pollen and humidity tends to be at it’s lowest, allowing  those with allergies to be outside more. If that’s you, get out there already!

4.  Blasts of cold air stimulate your immune system. Sometimes you would think the cold makes you sick, but really it doesn’t. When your body gets hit with a blast of cold air, like during a brisk walk or outdoor playdate, it perceives this as a stress and temporarily increases its natural killer cells to compensate.

No more excuses. Embrace it and get outside.

But what’s there to do outside if there’s no snow for snow sports?  Here’s some great ideas!

  • Go for a hike

  • Take a dog for a walk

  • Set up an outdoor exercise area

  • Go bird watching

  • Sit around a fire pit

  • Ride your ATV around

  • Take a nature walk

  • Dare to take a polar plunge

  • Prune your vines

  • Sign up for a winter road race

Be creative! Just take that first step outside and then a deep breath of fresh winter air!

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