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Many may already be contemplating their spring (or even summer?) time plans, but let’s face it, it’s still winter and it can still get mind numbingly cold out there. Here are some tips to keep those precious toes and fingers of yours intact:

Avoid covering your mouth and nose with any type of clothing. The water vapour released while breathing dampens the cloth, consequently freezing it – on your face. If you still feel like covering your face with something, consider – carefully – a bank robber-style face sock that has separate holes for your ‘facial openings’.

Use mittens rather than gloves. Mittens allow you to keep your fingers together, letting them keep warm company to each other. If it is very cold draw your hands into fists; this minimises the surface area of your hands and therefore the loss of heat.

When it comes to the torso and legs, go for layers. Start with soft layers against the skin and finish with a nylon material that protects you against wind and rain. Avoid wearing cotton, which traps moisture against your skin. Layering yourself like an onion makes it easier to remove and put back clothing as you move between indoors and outdoors.

Keep a flask of hot tea, chocolate or coffee in your bag. When it’s below freezing point the air will draw moisture out of you. It is harder for your body to keep warm when it’s dehydrated. The warm beverage has obvious added value! You’ll see.

Move! If you find yourself freezing after trying out all the aforementioned tips, this one is bound to work. Exercising warms up the body because heat is released as a by-product of the metabolic process that moves the muscles.

Jenni Toriseva