DO YOU LOSE MOST OF YOUR HEAT FROM YOUR HEAD?
No, you don’t. “Where your body loses heat is closely related to surface area, and the head has only about 9 percent of the body’s surface area”. Yet only 10% of your body heat is being lost through your head.
That said: If you are all bundled up, you lose more body heat through the top of an uncovered head, so perhaps you could say “Mom was right” after all.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR FINGERS OR TOES ARE COLD?
You should rub your fingers and toes when they get chilly, right? Nope. Wiggle them instead. If exposed skin (including that of your face and ears) becomes cold, cover it with a warm hand until it feels better. “Never accept numbness. It is a sign that tissue is already very cold and potentially about to freeze.” If there’s a chance you may have frostbite, don’t rub the frostbitten area, especially not with snow. Rubbing will cause tissue damage.
IS A CUP OF COFFEE OR A SIP OF BRANDY A GOOD WAY TO WARM UP?
Nope. Caffeine and alcohol actually hinder the body’s ability to produce heat. They can also cause your core temperature to drop. Instead, drink warm water. Even better, down a beverage that contains sugar; that will give your body fuel to produce its own energy.
IF YOU GO OUT IN THE COLD, WILL YOU CATCH A COLD?
Nope. You catch cold from a virus, not from cold temperatures. However, cold weather can weaken your immune system, making you an easier target! Here are some other ways to avoid getting colds.
DEHYDRATION IS NOT A DANGER WHEN YOU EXERCISE IN COLD WEATHER
False. You can sweat when you exercise anytime, and in cold weather you also lose more water through your breath than you would at warmer temperatures. Dehydration is dangerous in the cold; it hinders the body’s ability to produce heat.
IF YOU’RE STRANDED AND THIRSTY, SHOULD YOU EAT SNOW?
Bad idea. Eating snow or sucking on ice will lower your body temperature. It can also lead to internal injuries. If you have no water, try melting ice in a plastic bag between the layers of your clothing. Ice melts more quickly than the same volume of snow and yields more water.
IF I’M FEELING COLD, YOU MUST BE FEELING IT, TOO
Nope. Age, gender, fitness level, acclimatization—these and other factors determine when you “feel” cold. It’s been proven, for example, that women generally feel cold before men do, possibly because they have less heat-generating ability but a relatively similar amount of heat-losing skin. In addition, women’s blood vessels contract sooner as a result of cold than men’s do, so women’s skin feels colder more quickly.
IS SHIVERING GOOD? WHY DO WE SHIVER?
It may not feel good, but shivering means that your body is trying to warm up, and that’s good. Shivering happens involuntarily—it’s one of the ways (along with an increased metabolism and breathing rate) that your body automatically responds to heat loss that threatens to lower your core temperature. In fact, skeletal muscle contractions—shivering—can triple your body’s heat production.
DOES COLD ALWAYS FEEL THE SAME?
Actually, it doesn’t. Ever noticed how ten degrees (or, any cool temperature) feels colder in the fall than it does in the spring? This is because our bodies are used to dealing with much colder temperatures and react more quickly, so we lose heat more slowly, and don’t “feel” as cold.
Back Road Growers, Glocester RI
Source: Sandy Newton