It was in the low thirties when I left the house this morning and I looked like I was ready to go snow skiing. I had on my Hot Chillies long underwear, wool socks, boots, long pants, long-sleeved t-shirt, wool sweater, long wool coat, scarf, gloves, and hat. And, to top it off, I even had the shake-’em-up hand warmers to stick in my gloves.
I was a girl on a mission: Brave the walk from my house to my car, and then from my car to the classroom. Yep, I figured on perhaps three and a half minutes of total exposure and I was feeling pretty confident.
Now, you Northerners are sure to be snickering, because the sun was shining brightly on me by this afternoon, but I only lost the gloves and hat throughout the day. You see, I am a native Floridian who has never had thick blood. And, to top it off, I am a consistent wine drinker, so all those wonderful red grapes have thinned my blood even further.
Thin blood is an urban myth you say? Not according to local medical expert Dr. Todd Husty as quoted on WESH.com:
Many Central Floridians who have moved from northern states claim their blood has thinned, making going back to dealing with freezing temperatures harder to bear.
Dr. Todd Husty said what those northern natives are feeling is real.
Husty said after living in Florida, residents’ bodies change. It adjusts and learns how to cope with the Sunshine State’s extreme heat in the spring and summer months.
“It has to learn how to lose heat. It has to learn how to sweat better. It has to learn how to do anything possible to keep from getting overheated,” Husty said.
The only problem is that because Floridians’ bodies are accustomed to getting rid of heat, making more heat and saving it is more difficult.
So, laugh at me if you will, but live here long enough and you will be bundled up for a blizzard, too!
So, here are a few obvious reminders for cold weather:
- Bring in your animals (They get cold, too despite their fur coats!)
- Bring in or cover and tropical plants but don’t use plastic
- During the day before a possible freeze, get as much water into the ground as you can but don’t get water on the plant after sunset
- Beware of space heaters as they easily cause house fires
- Stay bundled up inside the house to avoid a high electric bill (Or should I say higher electric bill!)
- Turn off all nonessential lights and things such as pool pumps. Use dishwashers and other major appliances only when necessary. Try to refrain from taking longer showers, which people often do when the weather is cold.
- Florida Power and Light suggests that instead of turning the heat down at night, keep it at the same level– four degrees lower than usual– all day.
- Close windows and blinds to hold heat in. Also, use ceiling fans to distribute heat around a room.
- Keep your feet warm (and head, too if possible)
Stay warm, everybody!