When it gets cold outside and the snow is falling, it can be fun to head out and build some snowmen, throw some snowballs or even go tobogganing. Did you ever wonder about what happens to your body when you're out in the cold weather?
When we shiver, our bodies do the opposite of sweating. Shivering tightens the skin and shakes the muscles, a process that conserves and generates heat. Sweating, on the other hand, helps cool the body by putting a layer of liquid on to the skin.
One of the main functions of our nose is to warm the air we breathe so that when it reaches our lungs, it's comfortable. In order to do this, the nose has to add some moisture to it. When it's very cold out, the nose has to work overtime to add some fluid. If it really makes a lot of fluid, then your nose begins to run!
Your body preserves heat by making sure your internal organs stay warm. This reduces the flow of blood to your fingers and toes so it's much easier for them to get cold. They need extra protection during the cold — time to wear your favourite striped socks!
Frostbite is the freezing of skin caused by exposure to extreme cold. This usually happens to the tips of the nose, the fingers or the toes. So bundle up!
Hypothermia is when your body temperature is too low from extreme cold and your organs — like your heart, kidneys and lungs — can't function properly. This can be prevented by dressing appropriately for the weather and keeping your skin dry.
Did you know that the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada was way back in 1947? That winter they recorded -63 C in Snag, Yukon, on February 3. Brrrr, that's cold! Today, no one lives in Snag — it was closed in 2006.