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Being warm in the cold

Dawn Gibson
Monday, June 30, 2014

WHILE it's great to have sunny days, the contrast against very cold evenings is not always good for you — your body is moving between very different temperatures and this can cause coughs, cold chests and a number of other uncomfortable ails.

Yesterday, The Fiji Times asked Bayly Clinic general practitioner Dr Wahid Khan about why this happens and how it can be prevented at home.

And Dr Khan, who has treated many a sick patient in his time at the clinic, said it was important to keep your body at a general temperature as best you could — a good start would be clothing.

"Try to dress warmly often because warm clothing, especially when it's layered, not only prevents exposure to the cold, but it also helps you retain your body heat — thus, not getting sick," Dr Khan said.

"You could wear a warm hat or a beanie and thick socks for starters, especially when walking around the house in the evenings because floors tend to get very cold quite easily, particularly if they're tiled."

Dr Khan explained that people lose much of their body heat through their head and feet — which makes it pivotal to protect in terms of keeping your entire body warm.

"Try to layer your clothing as well. So you could wear long, something thin under most everyday clothing, such as pants and shirts. Also use a fleece or a wool sweater for extra warmth if you find the need to."

His next instruction was on the use of blankets.

"Try to keep blankets on your couch or on your dining table chairs so that you can wrap yourself up while reading a book or watching TV, and if you feel the need to, get extra blankets to sleep with.

"You should also try and use hot water bottles because water retains heat well and they're inexpensive. So, use one while sitting at your desk or watching TV, and even under the blankets to keep your bed warm."

He said consuming warm foods and beverages was also a very good idea.

"There are so many great soup recipes you can try out and drink things like some hot cocoa, hot tea and coffee if you want.

"And if you don't really like soups, then even a pizza or a hot meat dish or noodles, I know a lot of people like noodles — these will all keep you warm as well."

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