Do you know enough about the cold to keep warm?
Poor planning of a winter outing can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. The following are some misconceptions about the cold and suggestions for staying toasty this winter.
Myth: Dressing warmly avoids colds, viruses, and flu.
Mom was wrong on this one—mostly. If you haven't been exposed to a virus, cold weather won't make any difference. There are over 200 viruses that can cause the common cold.
Myth: You lose body heat through your head.
There's nothing special about your head. You'll lose body heat from any part of your body that is exposed. It's a good idea to wear a hat, but other parts of your body must also be covered to keep you from getting cold, experts say.
The amount of heat you can lose through your head depends upon a number of factors, including how thick your hair is and how much energy you expend in the cold. The ratio of the surface area of a child's head relative to the child's body surface area is much greater than that of an adult, so that children lose proportionally more heat through their heads. Hoods and hats are more important to children because of this.
Myth: Men and women feel cold at the same temperature.
Ever notice that women's hands and feet tend to get colder before men's? It's because the external temperature at which men's and women's bodies begin conserving heat—called the set point temperature—varies by about three degrees.
When surrounding temperatures drop to a certain point, your body will conserve heat by shutting off the blood flow to the hands and feet, making them feel chilled. For women, that temperature is about 70 degrees, while men can hold steady until about 67 or 68 degrees.
Myth: Dress in layers to stay warm.
It's true that dressing in layers allows people to adjust for different levels of activity. But one well-made, warm garment will do just as well to keep away the winter chills.
Dressing in layers does have merit, particularly for someone exercising in the cold. For the best results, wear polypropylene or another synthetic fabric next to the skin, a knit middle layer (which can be taken off if you get too warm) and a synthetic outer layer.
Myth: Cotton is a good insulator.
Don't drag those old cotton long johns out of the closet yet. They may be comfortable for lazing before a fire, but they can be downright dangerous outside in the cold.
When cotton gets wet, it conducts heat away from the body at a much more rapid rate than other fabrics. Anything that can dampen your clothes, such as perspiration, rain, or falling in the water, can cause cotton to start robbing you of heat fast.
A good substitute is polypropylene, Capilene, or some other synthetic substance that pulls water away from your skin.
Myth: Drinking alcohol will keep you warm.
Drinking alcohol may make you feel warm because it causes blood to rush to your skin's surface. But it actually causes your blood vessels to dilate and makes you lose heat faster. Drinking alcohol in the cold also impairs the shivering process, which generates extra body heat.
But the worst part about alcohol consumption is that it impairs judgment.
Myth: Fake fur is as warm as real fur.
Nature is best. If you wear one garment when you dress for the cold, animal fur is the best insulator, working much better than fake fur. Real animal hairs keep heat from leaving the body, and the leather of the fur is designed by nature to absorb heat, experts say.
Winter cold can be dangerous if you are not ready, or if you have prepared by following false information. Prepare now by educating yourself about the safest ways to protect yourself when the cold arrives.
Minoxidil Oral tablet
Hydralazine Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Hydralazine Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Fenoldopam Mesylate Solution for injection
Torsemide Solution for injection
Torsemide Oral tablet
Spironolactone Oral tablet
Metolazone Oral tablet
Methyclothiazide Oral tablet
Indapamide Oral tablet
Furosemide Solution for injection
Furosemide Oral solution
Furosemide Oral tablet
Ethacrynate Sodium Solution for injection
Ethacrynic Acid Oral tablet
Chlorthalidone Oral tablet
Chlorothiazide Sodium Solution for injection
Chlorothiazide Oral suspension
Chlorothiazide Oral tablet
Amiloride Hydrochloride, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Amiloride Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Methyldopate Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Methyldopa Oral tablet
Guanfacine Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Guanabenz Acetate Oral tablet
Clonidine Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Clonidine Transdermal patch - weekly
Clonidine Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Metoprolol Tartrate, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Atenolol, Chlorthalidone Oral tablet
Trandolapril, Verapamil Hydrochloride Oral tablet, extended-release
Trandolapril Oral tablet
Quinapril Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Perindopril Erbumine Oral tablet
Moexipril Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Lisinopril Oral tablet
Quinapril Hydrochloride, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Moexipril Hydrochloride, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Lisinopril, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Fosinopril Sodium, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Fosinopril Sodium Oral tablet
Enalapril Maleate, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Enalapril Maleate, Felodipine Oral tablet, extended-release
Enalaprilat Solution for injection
Enalapril Maleate Oral tablet
Captopril, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Captopril Oral tablet
Benazepril Hydrochloride, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Benazepril Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Amlodipine Besylate, Benazepril Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Valsartan Oral tablet
Telmisartan Oral tablet
Olmesartan Medoxomil Oral tablet
Losartan Potassium Oral tablet
Irbesartan Oral tablet
Valsartan, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Telmisartan, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Losartan Potassium, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Irbesartan, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Eprosartan Mesylate, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Eprosartan Mesylate Oral tablet
Candesartan Cilexetil, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Candesartan Cilexetil Oral tablet
Reserpine Oral tablet
Digoxin Solution for injection
Digoxin Oral solution
Nitroglycerin Topical ointment
Nitroglycerin Transdermal patch - 24 hour
Nitroglycerin Sublingual/Translingual spray
Nitroglycerin Sublingual tablet
Isosorbide Mononitrate Oral tablet
Isosorbide Dinitrate Oral tablet
Amyl Nitrite Inhalation vapour, solution
Verapamil Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Verapamil Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Nisoldipine Oral tablet, extended-release
Nifedipine Oral tablet, extended-release
Nifedipine Oral capsule
Nicardipine Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Nicardipine Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Isradipine Oral tablet, extended-release
Isradipine Oral capsule
Felodipine Oral tablet, extended-release
Diltiazem Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Diltiazem Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Amlodipine Besylate Oral tablet
Tolvaptan Oral tablet
Ranolazine Oral tablet, extended-release
Penbutolol Sulfate Oral tablet
Carvedilol Oral capsule, extended-release
Isosorbide Dinitrate Sublingual tablet
Nicardipine Hydrochloride Oral capsule, extended-release
Propranolol Hydrochloride Oral capsule, extended-release
Metoprolol Succinate Oral tablet, extended-release
Isosorbide Mononitrate Oral tablet, extended-release
Hydralazine Hydrochloride, Isosorbide Dinitrate Oral tablet
Doxazosin Mesylate Oral tablet, extended-release
Hydralazine Hydrochloride, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral capsule
Amlodipine Besylate, Atorvastatin Calcium Oral tablet
Nadolol, Bendroflumethiazide Oral tablet
Olmesartan Medoxomil, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Spironolactone, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Eplerenone Oral tablet
Timolol Maleate Oral tablet
Propranolol Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Propranolol Hydrochloride Oral solution
Propranolol Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Pindolol Oral tablet
Nadolol Oral tablet
Metoprolol Tartrate Solution for injection
Metoprolol Tartrate Oral tablet
Labetalol Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Labetalol Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Esmolol Hydrochloride Solution for injection
Carvedilol Oral tablet
Carteolol Hydrochloride Eye drops, solution
Bisoprolol Fumarate, Hydrochlorothiazide Oral tablet
Betaxolol Hydrochloride Oral tablet
Atenolol Solution for injection
Atenolol Oral tablet
Acebutolol Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Terazosin Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Prazosin Hydrochloride Oral capsule
Doxazosin Mesylate Oral tablet
Nesiritide (E. coli) Solution for injection