Dec 10, 2015 1:00 AM

Author: Office of Public Affairs

It’s not all long nights and snow. Five surprising health benefits of winter: 

winter sleep wellu

Winter Cheer

Cold Burns Calories

In one study, men who were kept in a cold room saw their metabolic rates rise by 80 percent—all because the chilly environment kicked their brown fat, the type of fat inside our bodies that burns energy, into gear. On average, the brown fat burned 250 calories over three hours.

Seize Your ā€œCā€

Just when your immune system could use the extra oomph, Mother Nature (and a great Interstate system) swoops in with an abundance of in-season produce overflowing with vitamin C. Load up on clementine’s, collard greens, grapefruit, kiwi, and sweet potatoes.

Just Add Snow

If you’re usually a walker, up the ante by strapping on snowshoes. A 150-pound woman will burn 500 calories in 60 minutes. Compare that with 271 calories after an hour of brisk walking, and it’s easy to see why snow season is a fitness fiend’s friend.

Have a Chat

The colder it gets, the more likely you are to have a long phone conversation with a close friend, research has found. And you know how your besties can lift your spirits—even when it’s dreary. Another idea in chatting with a friend is in person and doing something outside together such as a walk, ice skating, skiing or trying a new activity.

Better Sleep

Research shows that sleeping in a cool room, between 54 and 75 degrees, means better sleep for most people. Anything warmer or colder, you likely will toss and turn.

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