I am Canadian, and there is only one thing that makes it easier to breathe, the cold air. Especially in Autumn, Winter and Spring. Summer is really hot here in the St-Lawrence Valley. Whenever, I need to really catch my breathe, I prefer to take in cold air. I never thought about it before. Why is it that cold air is just easier to breathe, for myself.
I think it comes down to where I live and the relationship to density and temperature. Sure, at altitude the air is cold, but the air down here is dense compared to where planes fly. It means that every breathe down here is just easier to breathe. I can hold my breathe longer as a result.
The cold is a force with no discrimination, too. It treats everyone the same. If it is too cold, and we stay out too long, we can get frost bitten, or die of hypothermia. The weather doesn't care, it is simply balancing the Earth's overall climate. But, it does change how I see the world. I can see the world clearer in the cold. At night, the sky is crystal clear when the clouds are gone. There is less distortion in the cold. The surrounding world is quiet, too. I live in the city, and in the middle of the night on a Sunday, going to Monday morning, the roar of cars and trucks doesn't exist at 3AM here. In the cold, there is an absense of birds, mammals, and insects making noise. The world is quiet.
In a sense, the cold air is thicker and more dominant. The cold air quiets the world, makes everything clearer, and brings peace to the area.
And, to end, ever wonder why many of the richest places in the world are located where they are? I have a theory that the cold is why some countries prosper, because if they didn't the cold would kill everyone. The cold forces us to find warmth, forces us to engineer solutions to survive, and thrive. The cold dominates us and forces us to succeed. We need the cold air and I certainly need it, too.