Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Living in cold and cool: how to get warm once indoors (also preventing a flu)

The major ways to stay warm in Finland are to dress warmly (also inside warm houses), to move sportily (run five steps of stairs and continue with relaxed sporty movements for some meters and that is usually enough to make your blood circulate and your body to create warmth) and to always take precautions to dress warmly before you get cool or cold. If you get cold, get immediately in, cook some hot tea and put on loose woolen socks and a woolen blanket around your feet and wear a woolen sweater.
In winter time daytime always wear a thick long-sleeved woolen sweater, warm long underpants, winter trousers, socks and indoors loose woolen socks. When you go out  wear in addition a bird feather winter coat with a hood that protects the throat, woolen hat, furry or otherwise thickly insulated gloves(?)/mittens, maybe warmth trousers, and thick furry or thickly insulater winter boots which have some air around the feet.
If you did not get warm enough by staying inside in warm house, go to sauna. Sauna shouls be at least 50C and you stay there only for a short while to get thoroughly warm.

About avoiding a flu, later on in this text a separate chapter with the words "TO PREVENT A FLU" in large letters in the first sentence.

Finns think that they have adviced foreigners on how to bear cool and cold but the foreigners did not follow the advices. Finns give typically very basic very effective things as advice. They are not long stories but should be invested in a lot in order to cure the problem that the foreigner just mentioned.
Typical advice is "Do you have a sweater?" and it means that you should immediately put a thick woolen long-sleeved sweater on and wear it diligently at all times and also otherwise dress warmly. You could also buy an old sweater for wearing while you sleep, and avoid neing without sweater when you change clothes, answer the telephone etc. The more woolen clothes you wear, the warmer you stay.
Another typical advice is: "Go to sauna." which means that you should soon go to sauna  and take care that it si hot enough, at least 50C(?), and with lots of hot water vapour in the air (from you pouring small amounts of water to the hot stones by the oven) so that you get very warm thoroughly. Take care with drying and wearing warm clothes that you stay warm also after the sauna.
Third typical advice is "Move." and it means that you should move sportily soimewhat always when you are cool or are in the danger of getting cool. For example running a few steps of stairs and moving sportily a minute or two afterwars, or outside running 20 metres, or if you have been sitting with a blanket, keep the blanket wrapped around yourself and move around in the partment for a longer time, since keeping the same cwarm clothes with more sporty creates more warmth. The more you movce, the hotter you get.
But the common advice to drink hot is different. It means only once maybe two cups of hot to drink, and not repeating the same advice often, since drinking hot makes the body lose most of it's ability to create heat. But maybe two cups of hot to drink (not just hot water, must have some tea, honey, juice or the like to take care of needed salts) just after coming in from the cold typically is ok. If you get cool when in, warmer clothes and motion to get warm and in addition eat something, maybe a warm meal, or at most cup or two of hot to drink in addition. Drinking hot easily becomes a habit and that is not good for health and spirit. The other ways to get warm are good for health and spirit.

Finns who seem to dress lighter in winter time, typically have very warm woolen long-sleeved underclothes beneath the not-so-warm clothes. Dressing warmly often does not look especially good but it keeps you healthy and makes life pleasant. Especially important it is to dress the feet warmly: both warm socks all the time and winter trousers with long warm undertrousers.

Wet or moist clothes do not warm.
In winter time windy places are much colder.
Moist air affects like 10 degrees colder weather.
If it is moist inside, open the window and let the moist air escape, close the window and wait for the cold new air to warm and dry.
In winter time the air is not so moist and so it does not feel so cold. The freezing of the lakes and the sea is important for dry air.
Moist skin, for example because of having taken a shower a while ago or of using some skin cream with some water in it, is easily vulnerable in the cool and cold. If you use skin cream or something of the kind, check that there is absolutely no moisture in it. Winter skin needs continuous warmth (especially indoors all the time, for example after washing dry it well imeediately, and as well asd you ever can also outdoors: be sporty.) and  and maybe some oil to cure damages.

In winter time it is good to spend some time outside too, preferably daylight time watching the beauty of nature and taking part in the liveliness of life outdoors.  From -1C to -5C is the best weather, especially if there is no wind and the sun is shining. From -6C to -12C it is an ok weather but one must go in to warm when one gets cold. One must also warm the face with warm hands and cold hands against one's sides under the coat. From -13C to -25C one can spend time outdoors if one so likes. Colder than that one needs especially warm clothes, skill and can stay out only for short times. Often it is possible to travel from one door to another door by car, but that is more expensive and one also then needs good winter clothes. One can lose a lot of heat in seconds without proper clothes or without less heat evaporating by the skin unlike when one has just eaten a large warm meal or drunk some cups of hot. But one absolutely must keep the skin warm at all times, since otherwise one might loose some part of the body in freezing temperatures.
Once in, one needs to take away the outdoor clothes, since they are not meant for indoor use and keep the warmth  away. Inside one can wear as many woolen sweaters as one wishes and as many woolen socks too and two layers of warm long underpants. As a child I sometimes fell asleep in warmth trousers when I came in from skiing: a warm sleep under a thick woolen blanket with woolen socks on, after some cups of hot tea, warms a lot and cures frost damage. Preferably go to toilet first and maybe drink a cup or two of hot tea.

Maybe foreigners do not understand the dangers in not taking care that one stays warm at all times aeverywhere. From catching a cold, which happens often and makes one ill, not able to do much eanything for a week or so, the next worse is already a danger of death from cold. To be clear: if you do not take care that you stay warm always, you are in a danger of dying from cold. Foreigners are in the danger of dying from cold all the year in Finland, also inside heated houses. So are the Finns too but Finns are much more convinced of the need to dress warmly and not to get cold, and besides Finns' heat evaporation is better adapted to the cold, so Finns lose less warmth and so rarely die of cold. But that is only because Finns dress warmly and take care to get warm immediately if they get cool.

Maybe foreigners would understand the Finnish cliomate if they thought of whole Finland as an arctic zone. It is not the whole truth since in southern Finland the winter is short, but it would give the foreigners an idea of the constant need to stay warm.

In Finland it is possible to die of cold also summertime or indoors, if one does not constantly take care of staying warm, and of getting warm again if one has gotten cool. Finns take care of staying warm all the time. They don't take care it and pause it for doing something else. Instead They constantly pay attention to having enough clothes, moving often enough to create warmth and to the temperatures near by, taking care to flee (also summertime) indoors if the air around gets cooler or even cold or moving and wearing more warm clothes.
Staying warm isn't any precision business. If you are feeling cool, wearing some extra clothes warms, especially warm loose socks and the ordinary clothes of that season, also warm long-sleeved underclothes. If socks warm, two pairs of socks warm even more, etc. Also if a cup of tea warms, two cups warm even more. (Remember not to drink pure water a lot since it does not have the salts that the body neeeds.) Take care not to be careless about your clothes: no places between clothes left uncovered, no visit out of the door in indoor clothes, etc. Instead, if you feel hot, change the major clothes to cooler ones.
Do not keep company to the air around like in tripics, since that cools very effectively. Instead copy from the people in Lappland some sense of separation from the air around.

To catching a cold it helps (somewhat but is not guaranteed TO PREVENT A FLU or worse illness) to keep thoroughly warm in a warm place indoors and to eat some vitamins. I do not know this so well, I guess that all Finns have likewise their own advices about curing a cold.
When you have catched a cold, it is important that you do not get any exposure to cold anymore. You have to stay in a warm place (for example in bed under blankets in warm clothes), wear loose dry woolen socks, warm clothes and a blanket and drink something hot and eat something heavy so that you do not have an energy shortage, and later an orange, and if you have been very cold, then eat something that makes you strong, like a meatpie or a warm meal, if you can but at least some bites. The orange or juice should not be cold at all and not the environment either at all.
If you need to ventilate the room, put the cold one to bed under a thick blanket and others ventilate a lot quickly and then let the air get warm before one can get out from the shelter of the blanket. And if one has been very cold or still is, don't ventilate the same room, but shut the door and ventilate other rooms and let the air get warm again before you open the door.
Others serve. If you are only a little cold, you may move like feels good for you. The skin should not be cool anywhere, neither the body or it's parts, but if it is, wear warm woolen clothes as it's shelter, drink hot and eat warm food and if one lies in bed wear a thick blanket and a daytime wide decoration blanket over to prevent cold air from breezing from the gaps in the sides of the blanket. You should not ventilate if you do not need to, and not spend any longer time in cool even if you are only a little bit cold.
The one who has catched a cold should be informed (if you know these things for sure) about the temperature of the environment and about it's changes and about the observations of others about one's skin and body temperatues at different places (legs, feet, hands, arms, forehead) of one's body, but one should not disturb the one who has catched a cold by these things more than once or twice, except always inform about the temperature changes of the environment.
The most important thing is to not to get any cold anymore, because such would bring a worse illness. Listen to what brings you wellbeing and hope when you have catched a cold, and cultivate those options.
The clothes and blankets ahould be dry, loose, warm and quite clean.

A quotation from the text Living with the seasons http://finnishskills.blogspot.fi/2014/11/living-with-seasons.html in this blog:
"In the Finland's climate if you live healthily there aren't any cold aches. In warmer climates on cool evenings or on cool days the cool may feel like a rapture and bring cold aches, which are a result of the body being too cold, for example cold on the surface and hot in the middle parts. One can often experience one's own body temperature by touching the skin with a hand. Motion makes blood circulation better and helps to keep the whole body evenly warm, of healthy normal temperature of the body. Mocing sportily also helps to create warmth, if needed, and on the other hand it can with the help of the surrounding cool air cool the body, if needed, but that is evenly on the whole body when blood circulation is good, like it should. Don't copy from people more fat than you or from people more used to hot days than you, so as to avoid learning habits which make the body too cool and are nonsporty. Copy instead from people thinner than you or more used to the Finnish climate, copy things connected to heat regulation and quickness of movements."

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