Try to keep warm this cold period

Hoody Jacket
We are well into a much rainy & cold season. This can feel pretty cold when we are used to tropical temperatures usually in the mid-20s. Cold spells have their unique health challenges, you want to keep yourself and your loved ones warm. Respiratory infections are pretty common in cold spells and are easily passed on. The common cold and flu (influenza) are very contagious.

Colds tend to run their course and are self-resolving, but cases of flu are much more serious and can be life-threatening. In extreme exposure to cold, exposed body parts like the face, hands and feet can suffer from irreversible damage to superficial blood vessels.

This can lead to what is called chilblains and frostbite, sometimes leading to permanent loss of function and amputation. You can also suffer from what is described as cold stress.

When exposed to cold temperatures for prolonged periods, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Continued exposure to cold will eventually use up your body's stored energy. The result is hypothermia or abnormally low body temperature below 350 C. A body temperature that is too low affects the brain and other vital organs, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well.

This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and will not be able to do anything about it. Hypothermia is considered as a medical emergency, victims will quickly die if not warmed up and treated urgently.

Many reasons to keep yourself warm. Choose what to wear wisely. You can still look trendy and fashionable without unnecessarily exposing much of your skin. Select warm clothes, and cover most of your body. Layers of warm garments maintain better insulation than a single warm fleece.

Wear well-padded and warm shoes, add some thick socks for good measure. Ladies have a wide selection of warm boots.

While at work or in the house keep the doors and windows closed, and curtains drawn especially at night. Regular hot food and drinks will warm you inside and maintain your energy levels. Chilled drinks will make you colder, especially if ambient temperatures are still low. Better still, find some physical activities to do. These will warm up your muscles and enhance circulation to peripheral organs. If partying in the garden in the cold of the night, light up a fire or move back inside the house when the chill becomes too much.

Children and the elderly are at higher risk of disease in cold weather. Be on the look-out for their warmth. Get them, and yourself, the flu vaccine as a preventive measure. Spare a thought too for the homeless and rough sleepers, they too deserve to be warm. You can donate spare garments, or buy them something warm next time you pass by.
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