Baby, it’s cold outside! And right now, it’s really, really cold! Most of the United States is experiencing a brutal cold snap. In fact, just today, all 50 states — including Hawaii — at least one place recorded a temperature below 32 degrees.
But what does that mean for your body?
Cold temperatures place physiological stresses on the body. However, the more healthy and fit you are, the more easily your body can cope with these stresses.
Regardless of how fit you are, when temps hit 50 degrees, blood vessels narrow to reduce blood flow near the body’s surface. Sometimes those narrowed blood vessels dilate and burst, which causes redness. It can also numb your hands.
Then, when temperatures 45 degrees and lower, cold and dry air creates challenges for your lungs. The dry air also causes your nose wants to moisturize, but it often runs when it’s working overtime.
Below 32 degrees is where things can get really nasty because your interior body temperature will begin to drop.
Your body may begin to shake as a result of oscillatory muscular activity, hypothermia can kick in and you can even get frostbite. Like we said – nasty!
So, stay indoors as much as possible when the temperatures are this frigid and if you need to go out, make sure you BUNDLE UP!
Use layers to stay warm! This doesn’t simply mean lots of layers, but layers for specific purposes. You’ll need a close fitting base layer to wick away sweat if there is any physical exertion taking place. Then you should add insulating mid layers and a looser fitting wind or waterproof outer layer.