Just because the temperature drops outside doesn’t mean you need to put your favorite past times in hibernation. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to get you all the information you need to survive the cold and keep on playing outside.
First things first….safety!
Cold weather has its good, bad and ugly parts to it. The good? According to Harvard Medical School you can burn lots of brown fat by exposing yourself to cold weather.
Yes, your body needs to produce heat so it takes those nasty fat cells and begins firing them up. Guess you can call it your “cold diet”.
The bad? When the temperature begins to drop your body begins prioritizing where it needs heat the most. Primarily it’s your body’s critical organs like your heart. The losers in this game are your extremities namely your fingers and toes.
Now for the ugly…
As your body relocates heat from your extremities, those body parts are more susceptible to frostbite. What happens is you experience a “pins and needles” feeling in those body parts followed by numbness.
With prolonged exposure you run the risk of losing those body parts.
Question is, how do we keep this from happening in the first place?
The National Institute of Health (USA) first suggests to plan ahead when it comes to winter outdoor activities.
For instance, if you plan on being outside for several hours avoid drinking alcohol and get plenty of sleep. But there’s one major thing you can do to avoid frostbite.
Reducing exposure to the cold.
Any bit of skin that’s exposed to the cold is going to result in you losing body heat…super fast.
In fact the Weather Channel suggests that within seconds, with temperatures in the 20s you can lose 40% of your body heat from one exposed area.
First thing you need to do in extreme cold weather is make sure that your base layers (clothing touching your skin) completely covers every square centimeter (inch for US people).
Hands, ears, nose and yes, toes (you’d be fairly crazy to go outside barefoot) need to be completely covered. If you do go outside barefoot, please seek help.
Here’s what you should look like in terms of keeping your skin covered, take a look:
Xtreme Weather Protection Suit
That’s part one of your Winter Survival Guide.
Got some great ideas or tricks you use to play in the cold, share them below we’d love to hear them.