Monday, January 7, 2013

Ten Tips for Staying Warm Outdoors in the Winter

Winter is a great time of year for spending some time outdoors- ice skating, ice hockey games, making snowmen, sledding, and making snow angels. Here's how to stay warm outside:

  1. Eat-- One of the easiest (and most fun!) ways to stay warm outside is making sure your have something (but not too much!) to eat. Being hungry zaps your energy. Fatty and nutrient rich foods such as nuts, yogurt, and cheeses help. When I am on the move (hiking, etc.) I prefer high calorie drinks- hot cocoa, smoothie type drinks, tea and gatorade mix, etc.
  2. Focus on Extremities-- Lots of heat escapes from our extremities (think head and feet). Keep your head covered with hat and hood will keep you a lot warmer than you would think.
  3. Keep Moving-- Sports such as ice skating, sledding, and making snowmen (it's a sport!) involve moments of being sedentary. Staying moving helps your body stay warm from its own heat. I find that moving is a sure fire way to get my feet warm again!
  4. Drink-- Stay hydrated as being dehydrated zaps energy very quickly outdoors.
  5. Stay Dry-- This can be tricky if you are trying to stay moving. When you are wet, especially if you are wearing something that doesn't wick or dry quickly your body rapidly loses heat. Stay dry by wearing layers so you can remove them as you heat up. Wear only wicking fast drying clothes and change out of wet clothes as quickly as possible
  6. Warm it up-- find other ways to stay warm such as using hand or foot warmers
  7. Think about your feet-- So much heat escapes from our feet! Think about it--- your feet are touching the ground which is covered in snow and ice. Wear snow or pack boots if possible, smartwool or wool socks, and two layers of socks if they'll fit.
  8. Layer up-- Having a lot of layers on is key to staying warm. You can remove layers as you heat up and put on layers as you cool down. You can also remove any layers that are wet.
  9. Think wool-- My personal preference is wool. I find even the thinnest layer to be incredibly warming. 
  10. Hot Water-- Hold onto a thermos of hot water (warms your hands). Drinking from it slowly will also help maintain a warmer body temperature.

Stay tuned for future posts- staying warm winter hiking and staying warm winter camping!!

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