If you used to live in a warm climate, changing your location northward may be a bigger challenge than you think. Before moving to a cold state, weigh all pros and cons. Maybe you will realize that you love breathing frosty air and playing snowballs in winter. Maybe, on the contrary, you will start hating the weather around you and wish to come back. Here is the rundown of facts you should face if you move to a cold state.
Let’s start with the positive side.
Advantages of moving to a cold state
Turn down the heat and you lose extra pounds
We are used to living in apartments and offices that are greatly overheated, while 18 °C is a sufficient temperature for a house. At first glance, a few degrees don’t make any difference, but it can be dramatic in the long run. Did you know that the cold promotes weight loss? We burn more calories to maintain body heat at 37 °C, and consequently, the body draws on fat reserves.
In a cold climate, you can burn up to 30% more calories than
when it’s warm outside.
This is why it’s recommended to sleep in a room without heating and lower the overall temperature in your home. Cold has another undeniable benefit from the aesthetic point of view: it helps fight cellulite. Afraid of sudden changes in surrounding temperature? Take essential fatty acids (which you find in oily fish) and Omega-3 supplements to help your body through the transition.
Cold reduces pain and illnesses
Whether you have headaches, angiomas, bruises, edema, and so on, cold-based treatments can relieve the pain or treat you very effectively. In particular, cold decreases nerve conduction. Simply put, it makes the sensory nerves sleep and causes a feeling of numbness. Aside from its analgesic power, cold also acts as an anti-inflammatory remedy.
Cold tempers your character
The benefits of cold also affect moral state since it has been proven that low temperatures reduce tension, fatigue and negative mood. Finnish scientists even recommend ice-water baths – a real elixir that arouses mood and releases energy. But you don’t have to go through such tortures to feel the positive effects of below-zero temperatures. After moving to a state with a cold climate, you will want to stay more active. Intensive exercise would thus constitute an excellent anti-depressant.
It goes without mentioning that making yourself go outside during early frosty mornings and walking a dog in winter is a challenge by itself. Gradually, it teaches you to face more difficult situations.
Cold sharpens your mind
Low temperature is believed to help us think more acutely and slightly stimulate cognitive processes. Sounds like fiction? There’s a scientific explanation for the theory.
The human brain needs glucose to function properly. When it’s hot around, our body wastes more glucose to maintain optimal inner temperature. Thus, less glucose is left to boost the brain, which affects cognitive abilities.
In cold weather, your brain’s activity can increase a bit. Maybe you won’t even notice that your efficiency is gradually getting higher, but overall well-being may improve.
Cold climate relieves allergies
Moving out of state is a great idea if you tend to suffer from allergic reactions to outdoor factors, such as pollen from trees and grass, or air pollution. In cold weather, pollen and natural allergens alike cannot survive, especially when it’s snowing. Hence, people with allergies find relief during wintertime. That means in cold states, you can stay healthy all year round.
Curiously, ¾ of Americans who have a pollen allergy also report that the inflammation is triggered by ragweed. This plant grows in warm and humid regions. More cold – less ragweed. Goodbye, strong allergens!
It improves the quality of sleep
Another perk of long-distance moving to a cold place is that you’re likely to enjoy longer and deeper sleep. When you’re lying down to fall asleep, your body needs to cool down to the core temperature first. In hot regions and in summer, cooling down may take up to 2 hours. In colder environments, the process is faster.
One more reason for prolonged sleep is the natural sunlight which shortens on winter days. With less light around, the body switches to sleep mode. It takes a negative toll on productivity, but sleep does a lot of good for your health.
Having at least 8 hours of deep healthy sleep has many positive benefits, such as a stronger immune system, improved memory, better mood, higher concentration, etc.
Infections die in the cold
It may sound illogical, but in a cold climate, your immune system is safer. Why? Because some infections die at low temperatures. But the main reason is that the human immune system is activated by low temperature. Our bodies get used to climate changes, which improves the ability to repel viruses and bacteria more efficiently. Many people admit that their resistance to diseases has risen a few years after the move.
It strengthens your heart
According to studies, living in a cold climate is recommended for people with heart problems. Why? Because any winter outdoor activity, be that running, playing snowballs, or even walking will require your heart to pump more blood. After physical activities, a body needs to get back to the core temperature to stay within safe and healthy limits.
Also, outdoor exercises train the heart muscle, so it can do some extra work. However, you should not exhaust yourself with too much pressure on your heart in cold temperatures.
Finally, it means fewer insects
This advantage is not so evident until you hire a moving company and change the location. Suddenly, you will realize that in cold climates, there are no wild insects around – they are all asleep.
Bugs are not just annoying: some of them are contagious and spread the Dengue virus, West Nile, or Zika viruses. Those are serious illnesses that may have lethal consequences if left uncured. The majority of disease-spreading insects love milder climates, so if you don’t want to get down with a fever after a mosquito bite, hire moving guys and head north. No buzzing, no bites.
However, northern states have a few drawbacks you should be aware of before making life-changing decisions.
Cons of moving to a cold state
Unless you’re planning to be a snowbird – a person who moves to warmer places during wintertime from the places of their origin – there are many things about cold climate that might challenge you. Here’s the rundown of drawbacks that repel many people from relocating to cold places.
In cold places, sunsets start at 4-5 PM, which indeed makes days seem much shorter than they are. It’s a coin with two sides: yes, it can improve the quality and duration of your sleep, but it also means less outdoor activities done.
Yes, you can still walk outside and breathe fresh air, but it feels different. Many people cannot get used to short winter days after relocating to cold regions.
Weather gets dangerous
Surviving through winter can be very challenging if you don’t take safety measures first.
In winter, dangers are everywhere:
- Icy paths get very slippery and can lead to falls and fractures.
- Driving is also risky on icy roads, and too much snow around can lead to accidents.
- Getting caught in a winter storm is also dangerous.
Moreover, the elderly have higher chances of experiencing hypothermia: a condition when the body core temperature gets below normal. It usually happens when a person is exposed to cold for too long.
It adds up to your housework
Living in a cold state means that you should keep your house clean not only inside but outside, as well. As it starts snowing, get ready to shovel around sidewalks and driveways every day and even find ways to remove ice blocks from your roof. Too much snow indeed poses structural dangers to a house, so your task will be to keep it away.
Here’s the truth: people living in cold states have to wake up an hour earlier during harsh winters to dig their car from under the snow and shovel it. Doesn’t sound like fun.
Your utility bills might double
Living in a cold state means you will have to spend much more money on electricity and hot water. It takes a lot to keep your house warm, so get ready to receive higher electricity bills during winter.
Yes, living in a warmer place would mean you would spend more money on air conditioning, but nothing beats the electricity bills for people who live months in sub-zero temperatures. That might not be the biggest expense on your list, but consider this just to avoid unpleasant surprises. Reluctantly, there’s one advantage: moving services might be less expensive during wintertime.
You’ll need special equipment
Being surrounded by snow not only means having to shovel it all day round. How about having some fun? Snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, riding a snowmobile – all that can help you survive through winter. But it requires equipment which can be expensive. On top of that, you will need a lot of warm clothes: jackets, sweaters, gloves, boots, etc.
The list goes on. Cleaning snow will require a snow blower, a shovel, a scraper, and so on. When winter starts, you will have to spend a bit more than expected. Finally, when you get to your new home, don’t forget to order moving assistance – experienced workers will have allnecessary equipment to transport boxes safely.
Cold affects people psychologically
Above, we’ve mentioned that the cold around makes up for a clear mind and better concentration. However, it has adverse effects on human psychology, too. Lack of sunshine during long winter months and constant freezing can have a negative impact on appetite, mood, energy, sleep, and focus. Doctors call it seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and its symptoms usually manifest when summer and hot days end.
This state is also known as ‘winter depression’, and it may interfere with the body’s internal clock because of lack of sunshine. Secondly, the lack of UV lights causes serotonin to drop, that’s why people feel not as happy as before.
How to get used to the cold?
With temperatures close to zero, the blood circulation speeds up and it is always good for our venous system! You can therefore run, walk, cycle, swim when it’s cold: your body will react better to temperature changes and gain endurance. A cold shower is also an invigorating stimulant and boosts the immune system. Adopting a positive attitude towards the cold will be profitable for you: you will gradually desensitize yourself, be seasoned in the face of the cold and will have learned your coping skills.
If you have never lived in a cold place before, moving north can be a real challenge. At first, your life there may seem like survival. However, cold comes with some benefits, too. Eventually, you may get used to sub-zero temperatures and even find something charming about wintertime.
Hopefully, this guide will help you make an informed decision. Ready to head north? Make sure to hire experienced movers because you will need to transport all warm clothes and equipment.
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