How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Body

How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Body

It’s winter and cold weather is sweeping across much of the country, but how do frosty mornings and biting winds affect our bodies and health?

We all experience cold weather differently. If you are tall, you tend to become cold faster than a shorter person. Taller people have a bigger surface area; meaning heat is lost from the body quicker. Even though people react to cold weather differently, as a species we are extremely adaptable.

Coldest places people live and thrive

Humans have settled and thrived in parts of the world that experience exceptionally cold temperatures for part of the year. The coldest according to, Oymyakon, Russia has winter temperatures that average minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 50 degrees Celsius) and is \”considered the coldest inhabited area on Earth.”

This one’s a little closer to home, International Falls, Minnesota, is only half as cold as Oymyakon, it is one of the coldest cities in the contiguous U.S. It\’s located right on the border of Canada, on the banks of the Rainy River. International Falls winters are long and icy, with average January lows of minus 7.

More than 60 nights a year reach zero degrees, and the area averages about 71 inches of annual snowfall, according to U.S. Climate Data. International Falls, is home to an estimated 5,811 people.

Studies have found that exercising in cold weather can increase your body’s energy expenditure even after you’ve finished your workout. You also burn more calories while exercising in the cold as your body is expending energy to keep warm.

How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Body

While cold weather can be beneficial to your health, it can also increase your chances of getting sick and bring other health risks with it.

We all know that colds and flu seem to be everywhere during the winter months, but why does this happen? In studies of how cold weather can affect your body, it was found that the reason the flu virus spreads so easily during winter is due to the fact that the virus is more stable and is able to stay in the air for longer when it’s cold and dry. Evidence suggests that you are more likely to contract the flu from walking down the street on a cold, dry day than you are from sitting in a warm office. Remember it is important to also make sure your home is warm. Consider using a humidifier to eliminate dryness. Reduce virus-thriving environments with warm and humid air.

Cardiovascular system

Cold weather can put increased stress on our cardiovascular system. Cold temperatures cause your blood vessels to constrict, shallow breathing, and a slight thickening of the blood. These changes can cause chest pain in people with heart disease. When you’re outside in cold conditions, make sure to wrap up warm, being careful to cover up your extremities.


Cold temperatures can cause problems for asthma sufferers. Cold, dry air causes the air passages in the lungs of some asthma sufferers to contract, making it difficult to breathe. When it comes to the cold, it is not just about being outside. It is important to understand that keeping your house warm during the winter months is essential.


Cold, dry air can also worsen conditions such as eczema by drying out the skin. Even if you may not feel like it, it’s important to drink lots of water in the winter months in order to stay hydrated and avoid dry, flaky skin.

As you’ve read, cold weather can be both beneficial and damaging to our health depending on pre-existing conditions and the extremes of weather that we are subjected to. So this winter, wrap up warm if you are going outside, especially your core, and try to eat healthily.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *