Have you ever wondered how your body changes to adapt to the cold climate?
We all know we shiver and chatter our teeth, but what about the smaller subtle things that our body does in order to stay warm and help us make it through the winter season?
As our physical body goes through a few unconventional yet necessary changes, our mental well-being is also affected by the lower temperature outside.
Don’t worry, there’s nothing to be alarmed about as most of these changes occur in order to keep us healthy and survive the freezing months of winter.
If you’ve ever wondered why you’re feeling a certain way in December, it might be safe to blame the winter season.
What Happens to Our Bodies When It’s Cold Out?
Here are some interesting yet important things to know about our bodies as the temperature starts to drop.
1. You burn more calories
Yes, we burn calories just by existing, a phenomenon known as the basal metabolic rate. When the temperature drops, our basal metabolic rate increases due to the body working harder than usual to keep warm.
This doesn’t mean you should stop exercising because while you do burn more calories, it’s not significant enough to cause weight loss.
2. Your mood might drop
Ever feel a bit gloomy when the winter season comes around? This is a real thing. When the temperature falls, your daylight hours become shorter and the lack of vitamin D can negatively affect your mood.
Season affective disorder, a common depression-related health condition that occurs in the cold season, affects several individuals in the winter. If you have been feeling low, make sure you engage in lots of exercises and increase your intake of vitamin D if need be.
3. You urinate more frequently
Ever felt like you tend to urinate more often when it’s cold outside? This is perfectly normal.
During the cold months, your blood vessels tend to constrict more often and the vasoconstriction tends to force all the fluids to concentrate in your core region. This leads you to feel like you need to urinate more frequently.
4. Your face turns red
To protect your body from the cold, your blood is being redirected to more important regions such as the area around the heart or lungs. Due to this redirection, your nose or entire face can end up looking more red than usual.
This is an easy fix. As soon as your body warms up, the blood will return back to its normal flow and give your skin back its natural color.
5. Your fingers “shrink”
Don’t freak out just yet, but your fingers and toes could “shrink” in the winter. As your body’s response to the cold involves constricting the blood vessels to trap body heat and keep you warm, your fingers end up getting less blood flow in the process.
This is no cause for panic. While you could notice your fingers feeling smaller, this isn’t a substantial or significant issue to worry about.
6. You might become more social
Ever wondered why you constantly feel like hugging your friends and relatives when it’s cold? Since your body is constricting its blood vessels causing you to shiver, you end up wanting to huddle around your friends and family to help trap more heat.
Without even realizing what you’re doing, you’re doing this: By huddling down and becoming small, you actually lose less heat to the environment by decreasing your own surface area.
The content of this Website is for informational purposes only, is general in nature and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, and does not constitute professional advice. The information on this Website should not be considered as complete and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions, or their treatment. You should consult with your physician before beginning any exercise, weight loss, or health care program and/or any of the beauty treatments.
Holmes, L. (2017, November 15). 7 Odd Things That Happen To Your Body When It’s Cold Outside. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/body-in-cold-weather_us_5a0b0256e4b00a6eece44d3d
Digest, R. (2018, January 08). 9 weird things that happen to your body when it’s cold – and 3 things that make it worse. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/weird-things-that-happen-to-your-body-when-its-cold-2018-1?r=UK&IR=T