Here’s what I hate, er, love about winter

You know when Sulley and Mike get banished from the institute in Monsters Inc.? That’s how I feel every February.

Just like I’ve been ripped from any semblance of warmth, hearth and, frankly, joy and dropped into… well, The Himalayas. #IDontDoColdWell

But add the fiendish phenomenon known as the polar vortex to the problem? It’s more like the feeling Fredo got when Michael gave him the “Kiss of Death” at midnight on New Year’s Eve in “The Godfather: Part II” — um, YOWZA, I’m toast.

Or, I guess, a human Popsicle, to be more accurate. To me, polar vortex equals pure evil, capisce? #NotMyJam

But in the spirit of turning snowflakes into snow cones, I’m trying to embrace the advantages of the bitter coldness that is winter.

Let’s see, there’s um… Give me a minute, will ya?

Oh! No mosquitoes. See? I found one!

Then again, the cold has spiders and stink bugs pouring into the house at nearly plague proportions. How the heck did they survive last week’s deep freeze? I digress.

I’m not going to lie, I needed a lifeline on this one. So, I did a little research on bona fide benefits of winter.

Here’s what Stacy Tucker, RN, natural heath expert and founder of www.almedalabs.com. thinks:

l Colder temperatures help people think clearly. For this reason, many corporations keep offices cooler than warmer.

Hmm. OK, maybe. I suppose. But at what degree — Fahrenheit or Celsius, you pick — does your brain rebel and just go into sleep mode?

Stacy says, “Taking a brisk walk outside in winter may lead you to your next big work idea.”

Sure… OR maybe me and my gray matter could just stay nice and toasty inside and Google that stuff? Either way, speaking of sleep, she also claims:

l Your body’s core temp naturally drops when you’re trying to sleep; this process is much faster in winter. If your bedroom temperature is between 60 and 67 degrees, you’ll sleep better. Plus, with shorter days and darker mornings, you can naturally sleep in later.

I hate to tell Stacy, but my seasonal affective disorder strongly objects to the notion that shorter days are better FOR ANY REASON, yo.

And as far as the deep, deep sleep people are “enjoying” in their freezers, or, what she calls ideally frosty bedrooms? Um, I think the scientific word for what she’s describing is cryogenics.

l It might help you burn calories. When it’s cold, your body works harder to maintain your core temp. Our bodies use a considerable amount of energy to keep us warm, and humidify the air we breathe when we’re out in the cold.

Might? MIGHT! Stacy? Listen lady, if I’m risking my head cracking off into face-cicles on the ground by going outside in arctic conditions or turning my bedroom into a meat locker, I’m not doing it for MAYBE.

I want guarantees of calories burned, like I want to be able to eat a Dairy Queen kind of Blizzard for breakfast the next day with zero guilt, you dig?

Might. Tsk.

Even researchers at the University of (boo hiss) Michigan (sorry, Buckeye reflex) claimed in a recent study published in the journal Cell, “Worms exposed to cold temperatures demonstrate a genetic response that triggers longer lifespans.”

As much as I’m uneasy with their assumption that what works for larva is good for the humans, I’m all about it if I can spend the last 50 years inching my way around Key West.

Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist and summer lover. Contact her with coupons for light therapy machines at www.patriciakimerer.com.


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