(CNN) - Yes, it's cold out. Again. In winter. Who'd a thunk?
As the eastern half of the U.S. gets flash-frozen and largely smothered in snow, we thought we'd try to cut through any weather-related misery by pointing out some of the greatest things about it, beyond the obvious (we're talking to you, snowmen, snow angels and icicles).
Hence, the beginning of our growing list:
Freezing temps help kill off some ticks and mosquitoes, including some carrying the West Nile virus, says Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A freeze also helps kill off or reduce cockroach populations, although in December, scientists confirmed that a species of cockroach that can withstand freezing temps took up residence in New York, discovery.com says.
When you're marooned indoors, you're more likely to take the time for a long, meaningful phone conversation with an old friend, according to research by Newcastle University. A study of 1.3 million mobile phone users found that call length increased while the number of people called decreased, Science Daily says. The same happens when it's very hot, humid or wet.
Running in low temps can increase your energy levels and boost your mood, fitday.com says. Of course, if it's too cold, you need to stay inside and avoid frostbite.
The cold can also help runners recover, according to a study by the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance in Paris. Of three types tested, the most effective recovery aid was whole-body cryotherapy, exposing the runners to temperatures as cold as 166 below zero Fahrenheit, The Atlantic says.
Some exposure to low temperatures can help activate "brown fat," which produces heat and burns calories, according to research cited by Harvard Medical School. "No one is suggesting that cold weather be used for dieting purposes (not yet anyway). But when we get chilled this winter, we may take some consolation that at least we're firing up those brown fat cells," the school's Health Letter said in January 2010.
Exposure to cold weather can help your body fight inflammation in joints and reduce pain, Hillcrest Medical Center says.
That trip you were planning to join in on a hot new trend -- the cold sauna -- can now be replaced by a quick jaunt outdoors! Then again, if you want the full experience, you'll have to keep those plans. According to spafinder.com, the cold sauna has a cold temperature "not found anywhere on earth --- brace yourself, we're talking -167°F/-110°C."
"Studies looking at worms, mice and muscles found exposure to cold temperatures can result in longer lives," Hillcrest says. "For mice, lifespan increased by up to 20 percent when the core body temperature was reduced."
The effect of cold on people's life spans has not been determined. "It's too early to say, but it is possible our research applies to humans, because the genetic pathway we identified is found in people," said Shawn Xu, author of a study at the University of Michigan, according to prevention.com.
And the biggest benefit to cold weather:
... against Dolph Lundgren.
Love anything about the cold weather? Join in the conversations at Facebook and Twitter.
Friday, April 18 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:29:55 GMT
(Courtesy: Kansas City Star)
Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte says they have the highway shooter suspect in custody. Police announced last week that they have positively linked 12 shooting incidents that have taken place onMore >
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Friday that she has filed 18 felony charges against a 27-year-old man in connection with a recent spree of shootings on area highways.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 1:23 PM EDT2014-04-18 17:23:58 GMT
A 14-year-old girl told Overland Park police that a man attempted to abduct her while she was waiting at a bus stop.This occurred near West 87th Terrace and Nall Avenue at 8:19 a.m. The girl told policeMore >
A 14-year-old girl told Overland Park police that a man attempted to abduct her while she was waiting at a bus stop.More >
Saturday, April 12 2014 6:07 AM EDT2014-04-12 10:07:09 GMT
An incredible photo snapped Saturday at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore is going viral. A mother humpback whale and her calf were cruising just offshore when a set rolled in. J.T. Gray of NorthMore >
An incredible photo snapped Saturday at the iconic Pipeline on Oahu's North Shore is going viral.More >
Friday, April 18 2014 9:07 PM EDT2014-04-19 01:07:55 GMT
An ailing Miley Cyrus has canceled her concert Tuesday night at Sprint Center.The notice came a matter of hours before she was scheduled to go on stage.A concert promoter tells KCTV5 that Cyrus is in theMore >
An ailing Miley Cyrus is no longer in a Kansas City hospital, but posted on her Twitter page Friday morning that she is "sick of waking up to needles." She has postponed the rest of her Bangerz concert tour. More >
Thursday, April 17 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-04-17 20:43:50 GMT
Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning.More >
Officials with the VA Medical Center in downtown Charleston say a North Charleston man who was initially federally charged with a $525 fine for an $.89 drink refill will instead be given a warning. More >
Friday, April 18 2014 12:13 PM EDT2014-04-18 16:13:12 GMT
Chopper5 was over the scene as a man was taken into custody outside a home that police had surrounded Friday morning.Officers were dispatched to the 1100 block of North Bellefontaine Avenue about 9:30More >
Chopper5 was over the scene as a man was taken into custody outside a home that police had surrounded Friday morning.More >
Thursday, April 17 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:59:41 GMT
Many families celebrate the Easter season with a traditional egg hunt. The same is true for the Cincinnati Zoo's newest family. The Cincinnati Zoo's gorilla family - one-year-old Gladys, Jomo the silverback,More >
Many families celebrate the Easter season with a traditional egg hunt. The same is true for the Cincinnati Zoo's newest family.More >