To stay healthy this winter, we’re supposed to avoid the cold, drink wine and hibernate, right? Umm, we wish.
Make this winter your best yet, and don’t let yourself get caught up in a wild web of cold weather myths. Because some rules were made to be broken… Especially these ones.
Myth: You Lose The Most Heat Through Your Head
Hats have always been a mandatory part of our winter wardrobes, but how vital are they really? It’s a widely held belief that humans lose most of their body heat through their heads. But according to researchers at the center for health policy at Indiana University, this claim is untrue.
Our head, chest, and face are more sensitive to changes in temperature than other parts of our body - which makes us feel like covering them up helps us to stay warmer. But in reality, we’d lose the same amount of heat if we went out without pants on then if we went out without a hat. So this winter, stop giving your hat all the credit and keep your whole body bundled. Also, remember to wear pants.
Myth: You Shouldn’t Exercise In The Cold
So should winter mean it’s time for hibernation? Nope!
It’s commonly believed that exercising in the cold will get you sick. Well, consider this myth officially debunked.
Research published in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that the race times of runners during cold weather runs actually improved. And according to Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist, cold weather is ideal for running because there’s less heat stress on the body, which actually makes it easier to run. And when you run faster, you burn more calories and produce more endorphins.
So next time you feel like crawling under the covers and skipping your winter workout (#excuses), remember this cold weather myth, layer up and hit the ground running.
Myth: Drinking Alcohol Warms You Up
On a cold winter night there’s little that feels better than a bottle of booze and a warm fire. As temperatures cool down it feels pretty instinctive to reach for that organic pinot noir, but does alcohol actually keep us warm? According to an article published in the New York Times, the answer is no.
Alcohol may seem like the perfect drink on a cold night, but just because it feels warm going down, doesn’t mean the feeling lasts. In reality, drinking alcohol decreases our core body temperature and increases our risk of hypothermia.
A study by the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine found that alcohol reduces our ability to shiver, which is one of our body’s primary ways of staying warm. Another study found that alcohol increases our rate of sweating, which cools us off even more - and is probably the reason why nightclubs smell so bad.
So next time you reach for a drink, remember that the warm feeling is only fleeting and cozy up a little closer to the fire instead. Unless you’re drinking hot apple cider of course ;)