Bismarck – We all know North Dakota is known for its harsh and sometimes brutal winters.

But did you know those cold winters and the climate overall in North Dakota, could actually help you live longer?

Even though by North Dakota standards it’s been a pretty mild winter, we have had our samples of brutally cold temperatures, even last week the temperature dipped to nearly 20 below zero in Bismarck.

A national vital statistics report shows several reasons why living in colder climates may help you live longer, one is the refrigerator effect, basically cold temperatures do help to slow the aging process while also killing off dangerous insects and bacteria that might otherwise survive in locations closer to the equator.

“Those of us who live in a colder climate like to think that our culture and our way of life is a little bit more slow paced, we are better able to take care of ourselves, and those are some of the things that may end up leading to a longer lifespan” Said Doctor Laura Archuleta with CHI St Alexius Health.

Another reason for living longer in colder climates is when your colder, the body needs additional mitochondria to warm you up, and mitochondria also slows the aging process.

“The catch phrase is that’s the powerhouse of the cell, that’s what, ummm, generates the energy to keep cells functioning so if they do better in cold weather it would stand to reason that the cellular lifespan is gonna be better in a colder environment.” Said Archuleta

Now living in cold climates does have it’s drawbacks, such as not getting enough sunlight, which provides the body with important levels of Vitamin D…

“Up Here in North Dakota it’s not just that our days a shorter its also that being further from the equator even when were out in the sun we don’t get as much direct sunlight, so, in patients that’s I’ve seen, i’d say probably three out of every four patents I’ve seen their Vitamin D levels are too low.”  Said Archuleta

She adds the best way to increase your lifespan is to do your best to live a healthy, active lifestyle that includes eating smart and lots of exercise.