Test yourself: 5 myths on how to warm yourself in the cold
Each has its own ways of surviving a cold. But are you sure you are doing it right? Edition with the BBC debunking some popular myths.
Myth 1. Heat only fan
The idea of turning on the fan when it's cold seems absurd. However, many ceiling fans have a reverse motion function.
Warm air, as you know, rises up. He does not linger at the height where people sit, primarily in rooms with high ceilings.
When the fan runs at low speed in the opposite direction, warm air is directed to the walls and begins to circulate in the room, warming its inhabitants.
CONCLUSION: FALSE. Depending on how your room is arranged, a fan at low speed helps to distribute heat in the room.
Myth 2. Alcohol warms well
What could be better than a sip of warming mulled wine in the cold? A flask with alcohol has been an attribute of a climber since the 18th century, and mulled wine is invariably popular in ski resorts even today.
Alcohol, when you are frozen, creates a feeling of warmth in the body. Blood rushes to the skin and it turns pink and becomes warmer to the touch. But it also means that in the main parts of the bodies, blood circulation decreases and body temperature inside decreases.
You feel much nicer and if at this moment you are indoors, a slight decrease in body temperature does not matter. However, if you stay in the cold, the warming effect of alcohol will not last long.
Moreover, if you are pretty drunk you find yourself on the street, it can even be dangerous. Alcohol dulls trembling, is a natural reaction to freezing and reduces our feeling of cold.
Under the influence of alcohol, the ability to adequately assess the situation also decreases. Therefore, stories about how people on the way home from the bar froze in an ice ditch become understandable.
According to US statistics, 10% of deaths from hypothermia are associated with alcohol consumption.
Conclusion: the truth is only half. Alcohol warms the skin and gives a feeling of warmth, but overall body temperature decreases. This can lead to hypothermia.
Myth 3. If you sit on the battery, you can earn yourself hemorrhoids
This myth has existed for a long time. Like the idea that sitting on a cold surface can have the same consequences. Hemorrhoids are nodules in the rectum, accompanied by itching and pain.
Such a disease occurs in different periods of life in every second person.
However, there is no evidence that its cause may be high temperatures, as well as the fact that heat can worsen the condition of the patient.
On the subject: 20 Things to Do in New York on Cold and Snowy Days
In fact, German researchers have found the opposite. People who take a bath at least once a week (and the water in it is usually quite hot) have a lower risk of developing hemorrhoids.
The true cause of the disease is frequent constipation and a sedentary lifestyle.
CONCLUSION: FALSE. Sitting on a warm surface will not lead to hemorrhoids. And to really prevent the disease, eat a lot of fiber (vegetables, cereals, nuts), drink more water and avoid being overweight.
Myth 4. If you go outside with wet hair, a cold is guaranteed
Quite often, we heard such a statement in childhood. But viruses cause a cold! So can hypothermia weaken our immunity?
Researcher Ron Eccles of the University of Cardiff in the UK conducted an experiment. One group of participants had to keep their feet in cold water for 20 minutes, after which they returned to their usual lives.
The second, control group lowered their legs into an empty bucket without removing their shoes, and also sat for 20 minutes. Five days later, twice as many people reported a cold in the cold water group as in the empty bucket group.
It should be noted that the researchers relied on their own assessment of the health status of volunteers.
But why do wet feet or wet hair increase the risk of a cold? One explanation is as follows: when you are cold, the blood vessels in your nose and throat narrow, and they receive less white blood cells that protect the body from viruses. Another assumption is that in winter people spend more time in rooms where microbes are transmitted more quickly.
Researcher Enis Loven from Emory Medical School in the USA studied this issue in guinea pigs.
Her experiments showed that warm, dry air (typical of our homes in winter) is ideal for spreading viruses.
CONCLUSION: UNKNOWN. A walk in the cold with wet hair alone will not provoke a cold. But if you have already caught the virus, it is more difficult for your body to fight it.
Myth 5. In the cold, you should definitely wear a hat, because we lose most of the heat through the head
When the weather is freezing, you should definitely dress warmer. But is it necessary to keep your head warm?
To understand the eternal question, to put on or not to put on a hat, volunteers had to take part in extremely unpleasant trials.
During one of them, participants were given medications that prevented body tremors. After that, they were immersed in cold scuba water.
During various dives, they were either in wetsuits with socks and mittens, or only in swimsuits. Subjects either dive fully under water, or leave their heads above the water.
On the subject: How to help the body adapt to cold weather faster
Experiments have shown that we lose more heat from the body than from the head.
If the body is warm and the head cold, the general temperature of the body drops faster than you would expect.
This is probably due to the fact that when in the cold only the head, and not the whole body, we do not tremble, but it is trembling that helps our body to keep warm.
In addition, the scalp contains a lot of blood vessels, which means that when the head is open, the blood quickly cools.
So when the air temperature drops below zero, ideally it is necessary to protect not only the body, but also the head from the cold.
CONCLUSION: TRUTH. To keep warm, you need to wear a hat.
LYINGthat most of the heat we lose over our heads.
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