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How to Stay Warm in Cold Weather

Keeping warm in the winter is essential to staying alive, and the body needs to retain its heat to stay warm. Too much heat loss and the body could move into hypothermia. Normal body temperature is 98.6 and hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 95F (30C). Hypothermia is an emergency situation you want to avoid.

Here are some ways to ensure warmth during cold months.

What are the best things to drink and eat when it’s cold?

Continue to eat well-balanced meals to stay warmer. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages, including beer.Alcohol causes your body to lose heat faster and does nothing to warm you up. Instead, drink sweet, warm beverages to maintain your body temperature. Hot chocolate is a great choice. If you’re on a restricted diet, your doctor can advise you what to drink.

What should I wear to stay warm?

Wearing loose fitting layers allows you to shed clothing as temperature increases or you step into a warmer space.

Kids and adults should wear:

  • Hats—cover the ears to block the wind from entering your ears
  • A knit face mask or a thick scarf to wrap around the face and mouth
  • Shirts with tight sleeves that prevent body heat from escaping
  • Gloves or mittens to cover the hands
  • Water-resistant coat and shoes

What fabrics work best?

The outer layer of clothing should be of a tightly woven fabric to reduce heat loss from wind.

Use silk, wool or polypropylene layers for inner clothing. These fabrics hold more heat than cotton. (There’s a reason summer clothes are made of cotton!)

What should I avoid?

Avoid wearing damp clothing. Wet clothing cools the body down quickly and that’s not good in cold weather.

When you feel too warm you’re perspiring excessively and that increases heat loss. Remove a layer or two of clothing when you’re feeling warm .

Gasoline and alcohol on the skin increases heat loss. Make sure your skin is not exposed while fueling at the gas pump, de-icing your vehicle, or removing snow from your property with chemicals.

Most Important

Shivering is the most noticeable sign the body is rapidly losing heat. Move indoors and warm up right away when shivering persists.