Dressing up for the winter and avoiding the cold

In order to maintain some warmth and avoid colds when you are out in freezing February, a few precautions can be taken. The first thing to do warm-up exercises before leaving the house. Perhaps 20 jumping-jacks or a little bouncing about to Steppenwolf’s “Wild Thing” will do it for you.

Then you get dressed. Although it is tempting to just put on two parkas, and waddle out, it’s better to wear several layers of loose-fitting lightweight clothing. Try to find something that is tightly woven and water-repellant. This “thermal resistance” traps and insulates the heat near your skin, and prevents it from leaking out.

This morning, your Editor put a nice shirt on, for work, and followed it with an all-cotton sweater, heisted from the father-in-law. Then came a pullover insulated windbreaker, the cloth kind, and then a leather jacket.

If you begin to perspire when outside because the weather’s changed, you can take off a layer without taking the entire covering off, and this helps to avoid overheating, and possible chill from the sweat. Because of this risk, avoid moisture retaining materials, such as wool or polyproplyene.

 Also put on mittens, as they warm the fingers by keeping them together, as opposed to gloves, which separate the individual fingers. Use an old knit cap that protects your head. (50% of body heat escapes from the head) As frostbite affects the nose, cheeks, lips and chin, one should regularly wear a scarf, which covers everything but the eyes. Try to cover your eyes with sunglasses, because of the winter glare.

 NEVER wear tennis shoes in the winter, only leather, or water-proof boots. It is very difficult for the cold to penetrate leather, which is a good way to cover feet. Possible winter shoes would be Doc Martens or Rockports; the heels are incredibly durable and have good traction, and the leather is warm, like putting an SUV on your foot.

To prevent cold further, sneeze into your shoulder instead of your hand, as hands are a major storage area for cold viruses and germs.

Often the viruses come anyway.

Cold symptoms typically include nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and a scratchy-sore throat, accompanied by general discomfort with little or no fever.

Cold viruses are passed along when a person rubs their nose or mouth after shaking hands with someone with a cold or from breathing in contaminated droplets that have been sneezed or coughed into the air

 Drink fluids, they keep your throat moist. It traps cold viruses and sends them back to the stomach to be destroyed by digestive acids. When you feel congested, turn your bathroom into a steam sauna.

After you take a hot shower, keep the door closed with a towel under the crack, and breathe the hot, steamy air for a few moments. If you’ve no time for that, take a little time to fill the kitchen sink with steaming hot water and breathe in with a towel over your head. Gargle with salt water because antiseptic mouthwashes can be too hard for sore throats. Wash your hands often. Do not touch eyes, nose or mouth after washing.

Another way to help clear a congested chest is through a fomentation. Heat a towel, and moisten it slightly, and put it on the affected chest…this will help loosen the mucus that may have clogged your chest.

A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can open breathing passages and help restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose.