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The benefits of the cold


The benefits of the cold

Wrapped up in our coats, ready to pull on hats and scarves, we shun the cold. And yet, the cold is good for us! This may seem hard to believe for those who went through childhood lulled by "Cover up, you'll get sick". As if the cold was a risk that should never be taken. According to Anne-Marie Filliozat, psychoanalyst and psychosomatist, this warning has finally convinced us of our inability to adapt to temperature variations. Indeed, "words, beliefs and mental representations act on the body. This makes us cold in the global sense of the word". Just look at yourself in winter: neck down, head down, body contracted... A posture that amplifies the feeling of cold. So if the arrival of the cold makes you dread winter, you should know that it is also very good for your health. Will its unsuspected virtues give you a taste for winter walks?

1) The cold helps you sleep better

Winter is a friend of your sleep. When we sleep, our body temperature drops slightly and this phenomenon is the key to a restful sleep. Winter is therefore particularly conducive to healthy sleep as it lowers our room temperatures and helps us to fall asleep in good conditions. Besides, it is recommended to sleep in a room where the temperature does not exceed 19°.

2) A miraculous fat burner?

Our bodies store two types of fat: "white" fat, which accumulates and is responsible for overweight and obesity, and "brown" fat, which is essential to the proper functioning of our body because it provides the energy the body needs. According to a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, it would appear that under the effect of cold, undesirable white fat is transformed into brown fat, which is more easily eliminated. Rather than a long diet, it would be sufficient to spend a little time outside. Other researchers have shown that spending 15 minutes shivering in the cold is the equivalent of an hour of exercise. It's time to get out and face the cold!

3) The cold improves your circulation

In some countries, it is common practice to finish your shower with a full body spray of cold water. The cold water directly on the skin causes vasodilation. In other words, it allows the blood vessels to widen, thus allowing the blood to circulate better. In addition to better oxygenation of the organs, this phenomenon also limits the appearance of varicose veins and slows down hair loss. Cold also releases endorphins (which reduce pain, stress and gives a feeling of euphoria) and increases lymphocytes, the cells that support immunity. It has been shown that repeated exposure to cold stimulates our defences and improves our mood.

4) Cryotherapy, when cold heals

Cold has always been recommended by doctors to reduce inflammation. From this ancestral method a science was born: cryotherapy. Mainly used by top athletes, this technique consists of exposing a patient to temperatures of between - 110°C and - 140°C for three minutes. This relieves body pain and acts as a psychic stimulator. By stimulating the metabolism, the cold regenerates both the body and the mind.

What about children?

Nowadays, children play outside less often than they used to. One of the reasons for this is the pace of modern life: busy family schedules and hours spent in front of screens leave less time for children to play outside. However, toddlers need to play outside, even in winter. Don't worry: if your child is well dressed and moving around a lot, he won't be cold!

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