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The American magazine “Prevention” summarizes the unconscious changes that occur in the body during cold weather, and only by understanding these can you be more prepared and healthy for the winter.
1. SHIVERING ALL OVER
When the cold wind blows, the muscles of the whole body will tighten up. Cold sensory receptors are excited and then transmitted to the thermoregulatory center, which causes involuntary rhythmic contraction of skeletal muscles, with the aim of converting mechanical energy into heat energy and relieving the cold. This is known medically as "shivering thermogenesis". Stamping your feet in the cold wind is also an instinctive reaction based on this principle.
2. COLD BODY ENDINGS
When the outside temperature is low, more blood will flow to the center of the body to supply oxygen and nutrients to the vital organs, and the peripheral areas such as fingers, toes and ears will feel cold due to reduced blood flow. So when you go out, you should wear thick socks and warm shoes, gloves, and warmer clothes on your chest and back to help get a balanced distribution of blood flow. Heated gloves and heated underwear are essential for cold winters.
3. RUNNY NOSE
When cold air enters the nasal cavity, capillaries contract and cilia movement is weakened, the phenomenon of clear nasal discharge or nostril mucus will appear. This is a self-protective reflex of the nose sensitive to cold air. Wearing a mask on cold days can reduce the chance of cold air entering the nasal cavity.
4. INCREASED BURDEN ON THE HEART
In the cold, the heart rate increases in order to supply the body with energy, and the oxygen consumption and workload of the heart increases. Blood is more viscous and flows more slowly at low temperatures, which further increases the burden on the heart.
It is recommended to soak your feet in hot water before bed to promote blood circulation. Usually drink more water, eat more fruits and vegetables, and eat less large fish and meat to reduce blood viscosity and avoid blood clots.
5. SHORTNESS OF BREATH
The cold and dry air can dry out the nose, stimulate the throat area, and also cause the small airways to contract, resulting in a respiratory cough stress response. Winter out to protect the oropharynx, try to breathe through the nose to avoid the cold air attack.
6. FREQUENT URINATION
As sweat evaporation decreases in winter, the amount of urine will increase accordingly. In order to protect against the cold, most organs, including the bladder, will show a state of contraction, but also more likely to urinate frequently. In winter, you should avoid cold in the waist and abdomen, ensure adequate water intake, and increase appropriately during the day and reduce appropriately at night to prevent sleep.
7. STOMACH SHRINKS
When you get cold, the stomach muscles and blood vessels will contract and stomach cramps will occur. Therefore it is necessary to keep the stomach warm in winter. Avoid wearing navel-less clothes and usually eat more warm, easy-to-digest food.
8. JOINT STIFFNESS
Cold causes muscle contraction, reduced blood flow and synovial fluid secretion, and poor compliance of the tissues around the joints, so many people will feel muscle soreness, joint stiffness, and increased arthritis pain. When the temperature drops suddenly, we must add warm clothes in time to keep warm.
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