Chilly temperatures tend to keep us indoors and make us more vulnerable to viruses and infections, but besides these winter ailments, the cold weather can affect our bodies in a number of surprising ways. And not all of them might be harmful to our health, in fact, it’s easier for us to keep weight off during the coldest time of the year.
We love learning new things. And we did some research to find out how our bodies might react to the seasonal drop in temperature.
1. Your tongue works more than usual.
Freezing temperatures make your lips feel dry, and you’re tempted to lick your lips often to moisturize them. Although it might give you temporary relief, this habit can actually make your lips chapped. Saliva evaporates very quickly, leaving your lips drier than before. It also contains lots of enzymes that are too harsh for your delicate lips and might cause them to feel uncomfortable.
2. Your teeth might hurt.
If you have sensitive teeth, you might experience sharp, piercing pain when it’s too cold outside. Cold air can reach the nerves deep inside the tooth and cause your teeth to hurt. Dentists recommend breathing through your nose when outdoors, and wrapping a scarf around your mouth to keep it warm and protect your sensitive teeth from the winter cold.
3. Your blood sugar may increase.
Cold weather encourages your body to release stress hormones that boost your blood sugar levels. For many, as the temperature drops, blood sugar also increases because when it’s cold, we’re less motivated to go outside and exercise. Because physical activity lowers your blood sugar, doctors recommend working out at home in the winter to keep your sugar level under control.
4. You could lose weight.
While it is true that many people gain weight in the winter, it is also easier for the body to burn calories when it’s cold. When our bodies are adapting to cold temperatures, we produce heat and burn extra energy. When we’re shivering to adapt to the cold, we are burning more calories to generate heat.
5. You could get more wrinkles.
We can’t fully blame winter for more wrinkles, but our skin is more vulnerable to damage during the cold season. Because there’s a drop in humidity in the air during the cold months, your skin begins to dry out. It can’t retain enough water, and as a result, it becomes dry and is prone to more wrinkles.
6. Your eyesight may worsen.
Our eyes can be more at risk in the winter than in the summer. We often forget to wear UV-blocking sunglasses in the cold season, but the sun reflecting off the snow can seriously damage our eyes. The thin layer of tear film that covers our eyes is very sensitive to dry air and wind that can make it painfully dry. Doctors recommend using artificial tears in the winter when you’re outside.
7. You may get dehydrated more easily.
During the winter months, we rarely feel thirsty and often forget to drink enough water. Because we sweat less in cold weather, we tend to drink less, thinking we’re hydrated enough. But feeling less thirsty doesn’t mean your body needs less water, and it’s important to drink the right amount of water that your body needs daily.
Have you noticed any of these winter effects on your body? What else you could add to this list?