Attending lectures during the winter months can be challenging especially if you are not dressed and prepared for the weather. Here are some ideas for keeping warm on campus this winter.
Layers of warmth
Insulate your body against heat loss by wearing layers of clothing:
- Start off with a base layer that lies next to your skin and helps regulate your temperature e.g. vest, long johns, tights, thermal underwear
- Next you have an insulating layer which helps retain warmth by trapping air close to your body e.g. jersey, fleece, thick shirt or top
- Finally you have a shell or outer layer which protects you from wind and rain e.g. jacket, body warmer, rain coat
Head, Hands and Feet
Also known as your extremities, these parts of your body tend to get cold the easiest during winter because when the temperature drops, your body instinctively keeps your core warm because that is where all your vital organs are. Thus the blood vessels in your fingers, toes, ears and nose constrict in order to limit circulation to these parts.
The best way to keep your extremities warm is to dress them warmly, so either get knitting or else go get yourself a warm scarf, beanie, socks and gloves. And don’t forget your shoes – closed shoes with a thick sole that can be worn with socks (like trainers or boots) are best for cold winter days.
For those of you who like to craft here are some ideas for making your own gloves and hand warmers:
- How to make fingerless gloves from a sock: http://alldaychic.com/fingerless-gloves-made-from-socks-diy/
- How to make pocket sized hand warmers from a sock – these are filled with dry rice or beans, you microwave the little packet for 40 – 50 seconds and they will keep your hands warm and toasty on cold days: https://www.tescoliving.com/articles/easy-diy-hand-warmers
- Easy knit fingerless gloves: http://snailpacetransformations.com/simple-to-knit-fingerless-gloves/
Tea for Two
You are just as susceptible to dehydration during winter as you are in summer, so keep hydrated and warm with a cup of tea. Drinking tea counts towards your daily water intake and spiced teas like ginger or cinnamon will also help to warm you up.
Although coffee and alcohol may leave you feeling warmer for a bit, neither count towards your water intake. The caffeine in coffee is what gives you that initial warm feeling as it stimulates your metabolism and so your body starts to burn fuel; too much caffeine however can also result in headaches, restlessness, heart palpitations, nervousness and insomnia. Alcohol, besides the fact that it is not allowed on campus, may give you a rush of warmth but this is caused by the dilatation of the peripheral blood vessels near your skin, meaning your blood and warmth leaves the core of your body. So you may feel warm in the short-term but it is difficult to maintain your core body temperature and your risk of hypothermia increases.
Buying tea on campus or from restaurants can quickly add up. Why not consider buying yourself a flask and filling it each morning with your favourite tea to sip on throughout the day or even a nice soup for lunch.
All Day Chic. (2013). Fingerless Gloves Made From Socks – DIY. Retrieved from: http://alldaychic.com/fingerless-gloves-made-from-socks-diy/ [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]
Drink Aware. (n.d.). Alcohol and Cold Weather. Retrieved from: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/staying-safe-while-drinking/alcohol-and-cold-weather/ [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]
Hillman, Z. (2016). 7 Food and Drinks Scientifically Proven to Warm You Up (and One That Won’t). Retrieved from: https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/advice/staying-safe-while-drinking/alcohol-and-cold-weather/ [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]
Popsugar. (2009). What’s the Deal with Cold Hands and Feet?. Retrieved from: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Why-Your-Toes-Fingers-Always-Cold-Winter-2849454 [Accessed on: 05 July 2016].
Snails Pace Transformations. (2013). Simple to Knit Fingerless Gloves. Retrieved from: https://www.tescoliving.com/articles/easy-diy-hand-warmers [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]
Styles, S. (n.d.). Foods to Eat in Cold Temperatures. Retrieved from: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/foods-eat-cold-temperatures-2240.html [Accessed on: 05 July 2016]
Tesco Living. (n.d.). Easy DIY Hand Warmers. Retrieved from: https://www.tescoliving.com/articles/easy-diy-hand-warmers [Accessed on: 06 July 2016]
Tischler, S. (2015). Layering Basics. Retrieved from: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/layering-basics.html [Accessed on: 05 July 2016].