Top photo credit: fluentu
Keeping your body warm during winter isn’t exactly rocket science. Layering up with extra clothing and warm blankets or feeding yourself enough of calorie-dense food are some of the first skills we learn about survival as toddlers. But did you know there are many other factors that come into play when it comes to staying warm? Here are 4 rather peculiar ones that you might not have known before.
1.You can get more adapted to the cold
There are three types of fat in the human body. Apart from the universally loathed white fat, the main culprit that ruins your summer body, there are also brown, subcutaneous, visceral, and belly fat. Among these, brown fat in particular, has largely been left out of the public eye. What’s unusual about brown fat is that it is actually great for the human body as when it is stimulated, it can burn calories and produce heat. Brown fats are maximally activated by cold, which means if you spend more time exposed to cold temperatures, you get more acclimatized to it.
2. Some medications can make you feel cold
Medications that treat high blood pressure, namely alpha-blockers, beta-blockers and direct vasodilators, may induce chills and make you more sensitive to cold weather.
3. Alcohol lowers your body temperature
St Bernard dogs are renowned for having barrels of brandy attached to their collars to help warm up freezing climbers of the Alps. It’s true that alcohol does make you feel warmer, which partially explains the prevalence of vodka in Russia as well. But in reality, alcohol actually lowers your body temperature because blood vessels dilate after alcohol consumption, sending blood along with warmth closer to the surface of the skin. This makes you feel warmer but the heat in your body ends up subjected more to heat radiation too, ultimately lowering the temperature of your body.
4. Staying hydrated is crucial in tolerating the cold
Both food and water are essential in handling the cold. Making sure the body is hydrated causes the heart to more easily pump blood around the body. Apart from the drop in temperature, winter also brings much drier air than other seasons, which means the body is more exposed to the risk of dehydration, as well as more susceptible to illnesses such as the common cold or flu. What’s more, dehydration is much less noticeable since signs of the body losing water – like perspiration, are much more subtle. As such, there is a need to drink water throughout the day, even if you aren’t necessarily feeling thirsty.
The recently launched OzmoJava+ not only tracks your hydration level, but also has an internal heating element that keeps your beverages warm at 45 °C (114°F). Perfect companion to help you stay cosy through the chilly winter!