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Is Cold Weather Beneficial For Us?

Grace Lorenzi

Yeah, yeah, enduring cold weather “builds character” blah blah blah. But I was looking up a few things online about the effect cold weather has on us, and it turns out that cold weather can actually do us some good. 

I had a few questions about this cold weather like, “Can eyeball solution really freeze?” and “Can contacts freeze to eyeballs?” The answer in both cases is no, in case you were wondering.

Did you know that cold weather actually burns more calories? In a Harvard study done last year, being cold triggers a calorie burn and about the same kind of calorie burn that exercising triggers. Let that idea be of some comfort when you feel like it’s too cold to go to the gym and you’re chilled to the bone.

Cold weather can actually bring us together. In a study done last year, it’s a perfectly normal reaction when you wake up to stay in burrito mode tucked into your bed all day with your cat or dog on your lap as an extra layer as an attempt to avoid the frigid cold. Turns out, when all atomic motion ceases and it’s just we good Minnesotans isolated in our homes, we have a natural instinct to reach out to our closest friends. Since we can’t go outside, we pick up the phone. We call our best friends, mothers and other close friends and family and we end up talking to them for far longer than usual.

Our cold weather is also too cold for disease carrying bugs. Winter 2011-2012 was milder than usual and that summer, the number of West Nile Virus cases went through the roof because West Nile infected mosquitoes were able to survive the winter and breed so they could feast on us come spring and summer. With our super cold temperatures these past few weeks, and with February expected to be colder than average, we will likely still have a few cases of West Nile, but not as many because most of those mosquitoes will die.

What do you think? Do you like the cold weather or wake up on below zero mornings wondering why the heck you live here?

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