Benefits of below zero temps include less pests, less fat - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Benefits of below zero temps include less pests, less fat

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

So we're all complaining about the cold weather, snow and freezing temps, but there are some benefits to this cold snap.

Yes, some good things are coming out of the cold.

It sounds crazy but temperatures will keep falling and instead of staying down about it, FOX 32 talked with some people who are making the best of it.

Leslie Valentino said there are many ways she is braving the cold, "Making hot soups, staying home watching movies, trying to work from home."

If it has to be done in these freezing temps, then it has to be done indoors.

"I do spend a little more time with the family indoors. It's nice that everyone is just snuggling up and staying warm," Rex Quijano said.

"I got a lot of movies. I have a friend who gives me movies, so I watch a lot of them at home," Edward Wilson said.

Some Chicagoans say they can deal with one cold snap no problem, but now they've had enough and it's time to turn that "negative" into something positive.

While it may seem like there is no positive, there are some healthy, and good things coming from the colds.

One thing the arctic cold keeps away? Bugs.

"You don't have to worry about West Nile Virus because you don't have all those pesky mosquitos, you don't even have nets flying around," Dr. Mona Khanna said.

That cold snap is also killing off the Emerald Ash Borer, the beetle that has been taking a toll on ash trees in the area. Researchers say when the temps hit below 10-degrees the extreme cold can kill the Ash Borer in its larval stage.

Also while it's cold outside Dr. Mona says it may be time to maximize your workout, and maybe you could lose some weight.

"So we have two types of fat in our body--brown fat and white fat and cold weather and cold weather activates brown fat. So when brown fat burns it actually helps to burn white fat as well. It will help you achieve their goals maybe a little easier," Dr. Mona said.

When you're injured Dr. Mona says stepping outside can help just as well.

"Cold weather acts as of an anti-inflammatory. What is one of the first things you do when you hurt one of your muscles? You put ice on it. Well, same thing with cold weather. Also by decreasing inflammation it can lead to less pain."

And whether the video of people plunging into the lake produces laughter or tears, believe it or not, that exposure can really help your body suppress pain.

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