Dress for success to stay warm in severe cold
Saturday, January 4, 2014
As the temperatures turn decidedly colder, some simple tips can keep you safe while outside.
Love those layers
Dressing in layers is the best way to stay warm in cold temperatures. You can then peel off the layers once your body starts to heat up. A long-sleeved undershirt, either thermal or woolen, is the best starting layer. You can then put on a turtleneck, one or two shirts, a sweater and a coat. Choose clothes that are made out of fabrics other than cotton because it doesn’t keep you very warm. For your bottom half, you can start with long underwear (thermal or woolen) and add a pair of heavy pants. Avoid jeans or light cotton pants because they won’t keep you as warm as waterproof pants, like ski pants. Heavy socks and waterproof boots can complete the outfit.
Grab that hat
Before you head out the door, don’t forget to pull a hat onto your head! You’ll stay much warmer with a hat than without one; body heat can escape from your head. Scarves, face masks and earmuffs are also great at covering you up so you’ll stay comfortable longer. Mittens and gloves will help keep your hands warm and dry; fingers are very sensitive to the cold.
When you’re outside in the cold and breathing hard, your body can lose water through your breath. The best way to get that water back is to drink up. Warm drinks and soups can keep you hydrated and heat up your insides.
Take it easy
Pay attention to your body. If your body temperature drops even 4 or 5 degrees, it can make you feel crummy. If you’re starting to shiver or your teeth are chattering, your body is telling you that you need to head inside. And if you ever feel dizzy or weak, those are sure signs that you have to take it easy indoors for a while.
Fight the bite
If you’re outside on a very cold day and you’re not wearing enough protective clothing, you could be in danger of getting frostbite. Frostbite is when the body’s tissues freeze, and it usually happens to skin that is exposed (like your face or your ears) or to extremities like your fingers or toes.
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