Ask Mr. Pedometer and Friends

Published December 13, 2017

Q:  Mr. Pedometer, my family’s winter gathering for the holidays will be in snow country.  I’m always cold, even in milder climates. Any advice on staying warm while in freezing temperatures?

A:  The older you are, the harder it is to stay warm.  That’s because our metabolism slows, and the fat layer under our skin thins.  The current edition of Consumer Reports on Health offers these tips:

  • DRESS RIGHT – Wear loose layers of clothing, since tight garments can impair your circulation. Wool or silk will hold heat better than cotton and won’t absorb moisture.  For outdoors, wear a winter coat, plus a hat scarf, and gloves, since extremities get coldest first.
  • AVOID ALCOHOL – “Alcohol can feel warming, but it actually has the opposite effect: It lowers your core body temperature and can cause you to lose body heat more quickly.  So opt for hot beverages like cider, but skip the brandy.”
  • WATCH FOR DANGER SIGNS – “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cold causes a higher proportion of deaths among older adults, who are especially susceptible to hypothermia (when the body’s temperature falls to dangerous levels).”
  • Have your phone with you at all times so that you can call for help if you fall on ice or get stuck in snow while driving.
  • Keep your home thermostat set at 68 degrees or higher.
  • Be aware of the symptoms of hypothermia, which include confusion, slurred speech, shivering, arm and leg stiffness, and slow reaction times. Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you suspect you have it.

I hope you can enjoy your holiday by staying warm while you take in the beauty of snowy surroundings.

Especially between Thanksgiving and, say, Groundhogs Day, Mr. Pedometer advises…