This article was originally posted at

Most people really dislike winter. And for good reason: With extreme cold weather comes health hazards like frostbite, seasonal affective disorder, SAD, and even an increased risk of heart attacks.

BUT: There’s some benefits to that cold:

Cold Weather Burns Calories

You may have heard of "brown fat," a type of fat found naturally in parts of the body that, when triggered, can burn off other "white" fat. In a 2012 study, researchers found that cold weather seemed to set the brown fat into motion, and that simply being cold could cause significant calorie burn. (Exercise may have a similar effect, as demonstrated in a study from around the same time, the New York Times reported.) The study, admittedly, was small – however.


Staying indoors may help relationships. With less distraction people may focus more on their relationships.

Cold Weather Is Less Hospitable For Disease-Carrying Bugs

Winter and its effect on the disease-spreading mosquito population. The pests thrive in milder climates, meaning they were able to survive -- and breed -- all winter, just waiting to feast come spring. Freezing or below-freezing temps might kill off some of them (and ticks), thereby protecting you from the illnesses they are known to spread.

Cold Weather Brings Greater Appreciation Of Brighter Days

Research suggests that if the weather never changes, you start taking that sunshine for granted. Shivering through the cold makes those warm spring days seem even better when they finally come along, according to Psychology Today. I notice this all the time in Chicago. A day with sunshine is a day where people positively bloom

Cold Weather Can Reduce Inflammation

There's a reason putting ice on an injury works. That drop in temperature reduces inflammation in, say, a sprained joint. But the theory also works on a big scale, too -- cold temperatures can reduce inflammation and pain all over. A 2011 study found that, at extremely low temperatures, such treatments, called cryotherapy, did more for athletes to recover from physical activity than simply resting. Runners who were exposed to temperatures as low as -166 degrees F recovered from exercise faster than those who given other therapies or told to rest.

Cold Weather May Boost Your Body Image

While I can’t advocate chowing down on wintertime comfort foods, there is an escape from the pressure to get a "bikini body." It's a great time to focus on fitness -- hello, New Year's resolutions -- without the pressure to do so for your looks alone. On Tuesday I will disclose my New Year’s Health resolutions. SignUP! If you’d like to hear them. Did you know we sell over 500 professional products from brands like: Metagenics, Thorne, Health Concerns, Orthomolecular products, Pure Encapsulations, RX Vitamins, and many more. Visit our store to see our great prices and FREE shipping on every order! Thank you!

Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 2020!

Dr. Taryn DeCicco

Author's Bio: 

Dr Taryn DeCicco ND, LAc, LDN of Apple A Day Clinic in Arlington Heights, IL has been practicing Naturopathy, Nutrition, and Acupuncture as a holistic doctor, specializing in acne, skin, digestive disorders, and HPV for over 20 years!