Now that I’ve re-settled in rainy London, I kind of miss snowy Toronto. To be fair, I don’t miss the 50-below wind chills that freeze my entire body, or being stuck in a wintery purgatory. You know, when you decide to brave the cold and in a matter of minutes every limb of your body is screaming to jump into a hot bath, but you can’t turn back because you’ve already committed to plans. Then, when warmth finally envelopes your body, the extreme temperature change is ridiculously painful for your fingers and toes. Ugh! I could skip this entire part of Canadian winters, but I can’t get enough of those warm and ethereal snow days.
There are many benefits to living in a snow globe, such as: drinking endless cups of hot chocolate; curling up beside a fire place with a book; and one of my personal favourites – slipping into my snow boots and walking on freshly fallen snow to simultaneously soothe my senses. The sound of the snow slowing crunching beneath my feet calms my body, as the crisp air filling my nostrils refreshes my mind and spirit.
Pump It Up
Physical exercise in the snow is a great way to pump up your workouts.
Did you know that, “an hour of snowshoeing [could] burn 500 calories.”  If you prefer an epic snowball fight instead, you could eliminate 500 calories per HOUR just from dodging and weaving!  Funny story – in my first year of law school in London, my brother and I began a snowball fight with our flatmate who had never experienced snow. We did not expect that our small game would evolve into an unforgettable on-campus snowball war, which grew to include every student living on residence! #SnowMuchFun
How about building the cutest Bonhomme? PopSugar reported that, “a 150-pound person can burn nearly 300 calories an hour just by building a snowman.”  Plus, exercising in cold temperatures can, “significantly increase your energy expenditure for hours afterwards.” 
Youth + Vitality
If you read my last lifestyle post on the benefits of being amongst nature (if you didn’t you should after this!), walking outside in the snow is a great way to help to maintain youthfulness and happiness.
In an issue of Cell, a study conducted by the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology at the University of Michigan discovered that, “…worms exposed to cold temperatures demonstrated a generic response that triggers longer life spans.”  “[It] is possible that [the] research applies to humans, because the genetic pathway is [also] found in people,” stated study author Shawn Xu, PhD. 
Additionally, cold temperatures may help manage pain. Ten women in Finland were studied, “as they took 20-second plunges into near-freezing water, and also partook in sessions of cold-body cryotherapy (exposing the body to ultra-low temperatures for brief periods).”  Exposure to the cold showed three times as much norepinephrine in their blood, which is a naturally occurring chemical that may aid with pain suppression. 
For those of you fortunate to experience winter without the killer wind chills, try to take advantage of the snow for your health and general wellness. If you can’t make it outside, that’s not a problem! Use the time to relax, catch up on your sleep and/or read, all of which are beneficial for your health.  A sharp mind is just as important as physical exercise.
Don’t forget to indulge in all of the world’s vegan hot chocolate because there’s nothing like too much dairy-free hot chocolate. If there is, please keep that info to yourself. Hot chocolate ignorance is bliss.
Winter Jacket: Triple 5 Soul
Boots with the (Faux) Fur: Sorel
Blue & Gold Pashmina: Mum’s Closet
References http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/snow-day-good-for-health  http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Calories-Burned-Building-Snowman-Making-Snow-Angel-Having-Snow-Ball-Fight-878946  http://www.prevention.com/health/healthy-living/cold-weather-health-benefits
The information published in this post was intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in the content should be considered, or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consult your physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.