I live in snow country.
There’s nothing like the crispness of the air in winter. So clean, so energizing. It seems to heighten your senses…to make you feel more alive!
This morning, the blizzard hit. The weather turned to real winter with blowing snow, high winds and a decent accumulation. It was a done deal that I would be staying in today.
What sounded like a lawn mower went off near my window around 4:30AM. I wondered what was going on. So I got up, peeked out the window and caught look at the pile of snow in front of my patio.
Snow blowers at 4:30 AM on a Sunday! What will they think of next?
No matter how invigorating cold weather is, there are several potentially serious health hazards you need to be aware of. The four most important being hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration and heart attacks. Here are three tips to help keep them away…
1). Keep on layers of clothes
Layering your clothes makes it easier to stay warm and wicks away moisture from your skin surfaces, especially while outdoors. Winter silks and cotton long underwear are good first layers, followed by wool, acrylics and fleece as a second layer. You may want to layer your socks too. Make sure your shoes are waterproofed to protect your toes and feet from moisture. And, make sure your shoes are a little larger than your normal size to compensate for layering.
You may also want to have inner and outer gloves or inner glove/outer mitten combination. Remember to take care of your ears and face with ear protectors and a scarf. If you must go out in high winds, consider a balaclava, face mask or add a protective barrier (ie. like vaseline) to prevent your face from getting wind burn and chaffing.
2). Keep hydrated
Most people don’t even think about this in the winter time. Sure, you can get heat stroke in the summertime, but in the winter? It called exhaustion…and its symptoms are similar to that of its warm weather counterpart. Hydrate yourself well before going out to play in the snow. Remember that both caffeine and alcohol have diuretic effects (they make you pee), and tend to dehydrate you. Make sure you compensate for this by drinking a couple liters of free water. Mate tea also works well for this.
3). Keep safe
Winter play toys can be dangerous. So can the simple act of shoveling snow. That in and of itself has caused many a heart attack. So, do not over exert yourself. Take it slow and ease into the task. Take frequent breaks and hydrate while your at it. It’s OK to have a little hot toddy before going back out to keep your innards on fire, but only a tad bit. Expect that there is ice where you don’t see it. Use Yak Tracks or other ice biting gadgets to sure your footing. One slip could mean a nasty break or worse.
Well, that’s the end of our 3 tips for today. Were they useful? Let us know in the comment form below. Better yet, make sure you’re subscribe to our feed.
Just in case you’re curious, here’s a picture of the snow while it was still blowing.