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5 Tips for Surviving the Cold Winter

Surviving COLD Winter

Surviving the COLD Winter

5 Tips for Surviving the Cold Winter

There have been record cold temperatures sweeping the Midwest recently in places like Milwaukee where it reached 42 below, causing multiple deaths as the US News reports. If you purchased your home among Milwaukee, Fargo, Minneapolis or Pittsburgh real estate, or anywhere subject to that brutal cold, be sure to keep these 5 Tips for Surviving the Cold Winter in mind to help you and your family survive those harsh conditions.

Dress in Layers

The best way to survive the cold is to regulate your body temperature by wearing multiple layers.  The trapped air  between layers help hold in body heat. It also provides better control, allowing you to regulate your body heat and avoid sweating, which can be dangerous. Start with a light wicking layer which keeps perspiration away from the skin and build from there. The number of layers recommended for adults is between three to five layers. The last, outer layer being both waterproof and windproof. For children, adding an additional layer or two will help them stay warm.

Keep Your Head Covered

As up to 90% of heat loss comes through the head, it’s a must to keep it covered with a warm, waterproof hat that covers your ears. It will hold heat in and keep your head dry too. There are many blood vessels near the surface of your skin on the head – exposing them to the cold causes the blood to cool quickly which flows into the rest of your body to lower overall temperature. A fur-lined jacket hood or a fur-lined hat works especially as well which is why they’re commonly warn in places like Alaska and Siberia.

Stay Hydrated and Fueled

It can be easy to forget about the importance of drinking water when it’s cold, but it’s a must to stay hydrated no matter what the temperature outside. When you’re outdoors taking part in winter activities, take a break every hour for a drink. It will encourage good blood flow and help the body function properly overall while keeping you warm. Try filling a water bottle with hot water so that it won’t freeze as quickly or use an insulated container. It’s better if the water is warm as that will help keep your body warm from the inside out. On that note, avoid eating snow for hydration as it has the opposite effect, lowering core body temperature.

As you’ll be burning more energy and more calories just to keep your body temperature up, you also need food for fuel. Bring along high calorie snacks like nuts or granola bars. When you eat, your metabolism will kick into action to digest the food, heating core body temperature which radiates through the bloodstream.

Get Moving

Now isn’t the time to relax! When you’re outdoors in the cold, moving around and keeping yourself active will help maintain a good flow of warm blood to the extremities and keep your heart rate up. Aim to keep a moderate pace rather than overexerting yourself. The moisture from being drenched with sweat will cool you down further. Maintain body temperature by removing layers of clothing, staying warm but not too hot.

Warm Your Skin Gradually

If you get very cold, or you think your developing frostbite, which is when the skin falls below the freezing point, causing it to turn red, then white and then black when it becomes extreme, be sure to warm the skin gradually. Never stick your feet or hands into hot water, which can make the problem worse. Try soaking in water that’s lukewarm instead.

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