When we need a hit of energy we reach for our hot coffee, but could the real answer be in the cold outdoors?

I’ll admit, I hate winter and everything to do with being cold. I avoid it like the plague. So I was completely nonplussed when my boss noticed how lethargic I was this morning and suggested I take a walk outside during the middle of winter. But I did, because well… she’s the boss right?

“I was completely nonplussed when my boss suggested i take a walk outside in the middle of winter”

So I’m walking around London teeth chattering

And I’m blindly clinging to the hope that any minute now it will get warmer, when I realised I wasn’t tired anymore. The icy cold air on my face had woken me right up! Not only that, but I wasn’t even thinking about work anymore! All that pent up stress that had me down and out, dreaming of taking a nap, was gone. And It got me thinking, my boss is onto something here. I mean, i’d known that being too hot can make people irritable, impatient and ill tempered, maybe the cold has the opposite effect. So I rushed back to work (the cold is a great motivator for moving quickly), did some research and apparently it’s true.

“Cold temperatures help to lower your heart rate and relax your muscles”

Cold temperatures help to lower your heart rate and relax your muscles, what’s so great about that? Well, a lower heart rate means lower blood pressure, which goes a long way to decreasing your stress levels. As for the relaxed muscles, the cold is literally helping to relax your body, its as good as getting a massage, though probably not as enjoyable…

In any case

If you’re feeling stressed or just can’t get moving during the day try going outside and let that cold air boost your spirits. Not winter? No worries take a cold shower or dunk your head in a basin of cold water! At work and don’t want a colleague to walk in on you doing strange things? Just splash some cold water on your face and cool your hands down to wake yourself up. Or even just bring an icepack to work so you can cool yourself down at your desk.

Up for a bigger challenge?

Start each day this week with a cold shower and see how that boosts your energy during the day! And share your experience with the rest of us in the comment section below; we’d love to hear how you get on!