Protect your piggies and more

Tips to stay warm and healthy in winter weather


Tess Riecke, Staff Writer

Winter scares me.

This weather does not give mercy to those who are clumsy. I fall on a regular basis—even without the ice.

Ice doesn’t just affect walking abilities. It can severely affect driving.
There are so many accidents that occur because of adverse weather. It is estimated that in 2010, more than 900 fatalities occurred in the United States due to adverse weather.

Drive carefully when roads are icy and snowy. It is smart to have a car kit with you, especially during the winter.

I always have a blanket in my car when I drive in the winter just in case I get stranded. I also will keep some water bottles and some food in case I get stuck for long periods of time. You can purchase a car kit that has tools, road flares, etc., or make your own.

Along with dangerous roads, the cold can be just as unforgiving as the ice.

The best way to beat the cold is simple.

Wear a winter coat.

It seems so easy but for some college students, it’s something difficult to grasp. You don’t even have to have a winter coat. If it isn’t below freezing, then you can get away with a sweatshirt. I have done that numerous times.

Luckily, my roommate and I are really close, and she often acts like my mother. She forces me to put on a coat most nights (thanks Em). Even though I hate it sometimes, I am always thankful because it’s better to be warm.

Another way to help beat the cold is to warm yourself from the inside out. This is your excuse to drink as much hot chocolate, or in my case, coffee, as you want.

Socks are also very important to staying warm. Always wear thick socks if you have lightweight shoes on. You’ll see me running around campus with fuzzy socks and converse on all the time. It’s maybe not the most fashionable, but I sure am warm.

It’s an old wives tale that if you go outside in the cold with wet hair, you’ll get sick. While we know you can’t get sick just from the cold, bone-chilling weather can cause the immune system to break down and become weaker.

One of the other reasons it seems that more people get sick in the winter is because we stay inside more and typically have closer contact. To keep from getting sick, dress warmly so your immune system doesn’t take as bad of a hit.

For those who spend a lot of time outside, it is very important to know what hypothermia looks like.

Hypothermia is caused from cold exposure without dry, proper clothing. Recently, a college student in England died because of hypothermia. He got separated from friends at a party and drunkenly tried to walk nine miles back to his campus.

Symptoms of hypothermia include shallow breathing, memory loss, weak pulse and loss of coordination. Despite what people may think, when someone stops shivering, it doesn’t mean they aren’t cold anymore. In this situation, it actually means their heat regulation system is no longer working.

Even though as I am writing this, the weather is rather nice and I can go outside in shorts, we live in Nebraska and soon enough, the bitter cold will be back. Stay warm.