W hen the mercury in the thermometer starts to fall, your transition from normal weather to cold begins. Thicker garments are now the headliners of your wardrobe, and you think more about how warm a piece of clothing is rather than how you look in it. Luckily, there is a wide enough collection of clothes out there that you surely won’t have trouble finding something that fits both criteria. However, we are not here to talk about fashion but rather about cold weather and how you can adapt to it.
The temperature is bound to be lower during regular winter days. But there are days when the outdoor thermometer just shows crazy low numbers. And that’s where the real trouble begins. Your literal life is at stake without proper preparation for extreme cold and without taking certain precautions. Fret not, though, because I am here today to walk you through what you must do to adapt to this specific type of extreme weather. Let’s go!
Now we aren’t really surprised by most weather changes anymore since forecasting is accurate and timely. We have specialists that can predict extreme weather to inform us how the weather will shift in the area we live in. A relatively common type of extreme weather event is the cold wave.
What is a cold wave, exactly? For this specific weather event to occur, temperatures must be extremely low for several days. Global warming has changed weather conditions, making winters easier for us. Cold waves don’t occur as often as they did in the past, but this doesn’t keep us completely clear. Let’s remember the 1816 eruption of Mount Tambora that deprived people in several areas of summer and even caused snowfall in New England. So there are random events that happen and trigger this extreme weather outside the period where cold waves are expected, namely in winter.
Cold waves are practically the polar opposite of heatwaves. As with periods of extreme heat, there are precautions that you must take for health, comfort, and safety during extreme cold. As long as you follow the advice I will list in the following, you can make it through periods with dangerously low temperatures without any repercussions. Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s move on, and learn how you can prepare and adapt for extreme cold.
You feel uncomfortable when you are too hot or cold and might even experience specific health problems. There is a close link between our health and the weather, and we must take proper cautionary measures to try and keep the adverse effects on the low for our health and safety. There is also the issue that thermal comfort is affected by cold weather, at least if you don’t prepare and adapt, that is.
Luckily, you can acclimate your body with patience and discipline. By helping your body adapt to the cold instead of only looking for solutions like wearing absurdly thick layers of clothes, you can beat it in the sense of the word. This is what you should do:
The question might sound ambiguous at first. After all, what could be the connection between your mind and the weather? But there is; your mindset can make a big difference. When I’m outside, I like to think about places that are much colder than the environment surrounding me. It might sound weird, but it works. It’s all about discipline, after all. So as long as you think about places where the weather is even worse, your current situation won’t seem that bad anymore.
Another way to take control of the situation is to concentrate on the actual temperature. Small truth: you are never as cold as you think you are. Most of the time, we tend to exaggerate our body’s response, making us feel colder. So be realistic about the temperature outside; it might not be as disastrous as it initially feels.
Lastly, and I cannot emphasize enough how important this is…STOP SHIVERING! This is an unintentional initial response to the extreme cold. To produce heat, your muscles have rapid contractions similar to those when you exercise. So shivering does help you deal with the cold. However, only under certain circumstances, namely, when temperatures are so low, the body’s autonomic process plays an important role. On the other hand, force yourself to stop shivering ASAP when it’s around or just below freezing outside; it’s really unnecessary.
Training your body to withstand the cold also comes down to a few habits that you should take up. Turning down the thermostat is my favorite because of how much it helps you adapt to colder conditions and the difference it makes in turning your home more energy efficient. Instead of keeping the setting on the low to mid-seventies, go down a few degrees gradually until you can live in a cooler space without issue. It helps you adapt and save money when winter comes since you won’t spend as much on utilities.
Likely the most fun advice I can give you is to take up cold-weather activities like snowboarding, skiing, or sledding. These are enjoyable activities during which you will have a lot of fun. Since you are outside, interacting with the environment to the fullest, you get accustomed to the conditions. Moreover, since these are physical activities at their root, there is the added perk that your body will generate more heat while you do them.
Try to cover up less. When you feel chilly, your first instinct is to cover up with a warmer blanket or dress in thicker clothes. Try to avoid covering up in layers that are too thick. Instead, try to cope with the cold as much as you can. You will notice that you won’t need to cover up with as many clothes after a while. Combine this habit with frequent cold showers and turning the thermostat a bit lower, and you will be 100% successful at dealing with the cold.
As much as we love how it looks when snowflakes fall out of the sky and how beautiful the scenery is overall, the truth is that temperatures tend to be too low in winter. Cold waves aren’t necessarily characteristic only to this season, though. But whenever they strike, let’s face it, as beautiful as the scenery might be, the temperatures make it hard to feel comfortable. That’s if you don’t take proper precautions, of course.
From what you wear to how you think, even your day-to-day habits, these factors influence how you adapt to the extreme cold and handle the situation. Your health is at stake, not only your comfort, which is why you must abide by the advice I provided here to safely make it through cold waves.