This semester, I started an internship at IBBR (Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research) which was actually really convenient for me because it is less than a ten minute walk away from USG. I usually walk to my internship after my classes are over but attempting to walk even to IBBR this week was a big mistake. The wind + freezing temperatures + piles of snow everywhere= a recipe for disaster.
It looks like the cold is going to stick around for a while so here are some tips to stay warm:
- Keep your core warm. The fingers, toes, and other extremities are first to feel cold because they are parts of the body that are furthest away from the heart. When these parts of the body start to feel cold, the brain slows blood flow to these areas (called vasoconstriction) to keep the core area warm. So bundling up in your torso area can actually help keep your extremities warm!
- Eat and stay hydrated. The body needs more energy in the cold because it is burning so much of that energy to keep itself warm. Water also is an amazing way to stay warm. It is easy to become dehydrated in cold, dry conditions and the body handles the heat much better if food and water balance are maintained.
- Mittens>Gloves. Gloves are a lot more helpful when it comes to doing things with your hands but when you wear mittens, it allows your fingers to rub against each other and make more body heat.
- Run, speed walk, just move. Layers of clothing help keeps heat in but movement is what will actually help the body generate heat.
- Stay away from Alcohol. I have seen way too many movies where the actors used alcohol to stay warm in the cold. Alcohol makes you feel warmer but it actually decreases your core body temperature.