Cold Weather is Good for You

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Many of us treat the cold weather as an obstacle. But I’m the opposite. I’ve always believed that it has healing properties. My advice to most winter ailments is, “You need to get outside and breathe some winter air!”

Have you heard of white fat and brown fat? There are two types of fat in humans: white and brown. Brown fat is the heat-producing, calorie-burning type that babies need to regulate their body temperature. We lose a lot of it as we age, but adults retain some brown fat. Brown fat burns calories more efficiently, and the burning of brown fat is stimulated by cooler temperatures. So being active in winter can help you get into your summer shape!

I had a chance to burn some brown fat on the recent Winter Hike Series at Winton Woods. At -5 degrees, I was curious to see just how many hardy hikers would show. To my surprise, the group totaled nearly 200 strong!

Winter hikers at Winton Woods, January 2018

It’s all about proper clothing. There’s nothing wrong with wearing two pairs of long underwear and three pairs of sweatpants. On a recent ice fishing excursion, I wore two wool knit caps and a baklava. I was toasty warm and enjoyed myself even with my cheeks as red as a beet!

Bundled up during ice fishing

Don’t let cold weather keep you inside. Go outside and enjoy it. You’ll feel better for it!

Eric King, Naturalist Interpreter, Parky’s Farm

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