How do cold temperatures affect health and well being?

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One of the best ways to stay warm in a cold climate is by the use of the “inner furnace” to generate heat from within. While salad might be just the thing you want in the warmth of summer, come the colder months of the year, it’s hearty stews, soups and comfort food that just doesn’t do the same thing for your palate at other times of the year. This is your body’s way of telling you it needs more fuel to keep warm. If you can put up with constantly feeling cold, it is a possible way of losing weight. As ever the elderly, very young and those with long term illnesses should not try this approach and should have the home heated to at least 18C (64F).

Staying warm, use layers – The layer principle of dressing should be used in cold weather, this doesn’t mean simply lots of layers, but layers for particular purposes, a close fitting base layer to wick away sweat if there is any physical exertion taking place, insulating mid layers and a looser fitting wind or waterproof outer layer. Insulation can be provided by several thinner layers rather than a single thick layer. This is a more effective way of staying warm as air (the real insulator) is trapped between the layers as well as within the layers, it also results in less cumbersome dressing overall increasing mobility and is more flexible in that layers can be added or removed as conditions change. Zips, draw cords and fastenable cuffs all help to loosen up during exertion and fasten up again when resting or if it gets colder. Clothing for extreme cold

Am I cold because I feel cold? – Perception it seems is almost all. How cold you feel and how cold you are, are not as closely related as you may imagine. While uncontrollable shivering is under the influence of your subconscious and indicates a fall in the core temperature, the feeling of cold is not a great indicator. Some people are able to tolerate the cold more than others largely on the basis of perceiving exactly the same sensations in a different way. You can train yourself to be less affected by the cold, more on acclimation and acclimatization here. On the other hand as people get older, they can become less perceptive to cold temperatures, another reason the elderly are more prone to becoming hypothermic. READ MORE…

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