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What happens to your body in cold weather — and how to help it keep warm
Thursday, 22 October · 1 min read

Cold weather can make your cheeks flush, your hairs stand on end and your body shiver. But why do these things happen?

These are all signs that your body is working hard to keep itself warm.

When your brain receives signals from your body that it's cold outside, it tells the muscles around your bones to tense up and make you shiver in order to create heat. It also tells the muscles beneath your body hairs to stand up — as this traps heat.

If your cheeks flush in cold weather, this is because blood vessels in extremeties like your face, fingers and toes widen to warm them up and help prevent frostbite.

But there's only so much your body can do and it's important to help it keep warm in winter, by:

  • wearing clothes that protect your hands, feet, nose and ears
  • wearing multiple layers to trap heat instead of 1 thick layer
  • wearing a hat to prevent heat loss from your head
  • wearing mittens rather than gloves if it's very cold outside
  • eating regular, healthy meals to provide your body with the energy it needs to produce heat
Quote of the day

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

Ranulph Fiennes, explorer

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