Be Well

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6 Roche St, Hawthorn, Victoria 3122
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Welcome Winter Health

I was born in Melbourne but grew up in Queensland under the ‘beautiful one day, perfect the next’ slogan. Which it mostly is, except for the annual cyclone and flood seasons.

The thing about Queensland is that even when it’s raining and flooding it’s hot; mildew, black mould – two really harmful things for our respiratory systems – abound! There are only two seasons in Queensland: warm or hot.

This is one of the reasons I LOVE Melbourne so much. Firstly, you can actually own a wardrobe of clothes, aka wear more than a t-shirt and skirt / shorts all year round. Secondly, you can see and feel each season (yes, four seasons in one day & all that too ;-), and marking seasons each year really works for our health and wellbeing.

Winter brings a load of unexpected health benefits and cold weather is wonderful for our heart, brain and skin! Yay! Check these out: 

Brain Boost

Colder air boosts your brain activity, improves focus, and helps you think more clearly. Numerous studies show that our cognitive functions improve in colder weather: we’re prone to quicker decision-making and staying calm when our body needs more energy to keep us warm.

Sweet Dreams

Our body’s core temp naturally drops—a process that can take up to two hours in the heat of summer and is much faster in winter. In Melbourne, later sunrise and early sunset causes us to produce more melatonin, helping us fall asleep and stay asleep. Be careful not to overheat yourself with electric blankets and heaters, your bedroom temperature should be between 15 and 20C to help you sleep better and burn extra calories while getting your zzz’s.

Beat infection

Our body uses energy to help fight infection, especially when it’s cold outside. During winter, the body’s ability to produce white blood cells increases in response to the increased demand for immune defense cells, resulting in stronger defenses against infection and illness.

And winter is great for those with outdoor allergies; pollen counts are almost nonexistent in cold weather.

Beat Inflammation

The arrival of winter might be a battle for those with arthritis and knee pain, but exercising during cold weather is like placing an ice pack on inflammation. Numerous studies have shown athletes recover faster after injuries when exposed to cold temperatures.

Rejuvenate your skin

Cold temperatures (and cold water) keep your skin tight, vibrant, and radiant. Spending some active time outdoors during the winter helps with increasing the blood circulation in both the face and the rest of your body. That leads to reduced inflammation and naturally less-puffy eyes.

Burn calories

As a result of stimulating brown fat to heat up the body, excess glucose in our blood is absorbed. This means that repeated exposure to cold temperatures leads to improved insulin sensitivity, even for people who aren’t diabetic.

Mental health

Warm fires and cozy dinners with friends and family are all part of what I love about winter. The frenetic activity of Summer is replaced with a quieter, slower time to reflect, have longer, deeper conversations, so add those dinners and short weekends away into your diary.

Contrary to the myths of old, bunkering down and hibernating in winter does not support our health and wellbeing at all. We are not bears! So remind yourself of all the additional benefits of getting to Be Well as often as you can to warm up, stay fit and connected and gain the additional benefits of winter health.

PS: To support you along the way we’re running a fun Winter Challenge in June / July so get in and enjoy winter at Be Well. More info coming soon!

Be Well is the first-of-its- kind urban health, wellness and lifestyle club in Melbourne, Australia.  Informed by the science of longevity, Be Well nurtures the relationship you have with yourself and others, to optimise your lifestyle, and live your longest, best life.