Well... maybe not ALWAYS.
I'm not a doctor, but I've done a lot of rescue training. At ActionQuest, I completed my PADI Rescue Diver and DAN Oxygen Administrator certifications. I already had a Red Cross Lifeguard, Waterfront Lifeguard, and CPR for the Professional Rescuer certs. Additionally, one of my favorite classes I ever took at Stanford was SURGERY224: Wilderness First Aid.
You might think I did this training because I'm an avid diver and outdoorswoman...
And that's part of it. But mostly, I just thought it was interesting! The human body is fascinating! For example, I learned why approximately 80% of the fights I've had in my romantic relationships were over the temperature in the car.
It's because the temperature you think you are isn’t based on your internal body temperature... but on your skin temperature. That’s why, if I splash you with a little bit of water, you might start shivering, even though your body temperature obviously didn’t just change due to those few drops of water.
This helps explain why women "always" feel cold compared to men.
See, men and women have different patterns of blood flow. According to SURG224, men can have up to twice as much blood flow in their skin, meaning two things:
1) Men FEEL warmer than women, but
2) Men actually lose heat more quickly than women (because when your warm blood is closer to the cold air, you lose more heat; women, meanwhile, keep more warm blood in their core, so they feel less warm, even though they aren't).
I don't know why we feel the temperature of our skin, not our internal organs. But I do know that in some conditions, feeling colder but staying warmer is advantageous. Say you’re lost in the wilderness. You want to keep as much warm blood around your internal organs as possible, so you protect vital organs and lose less heat.
Interestingly, the skin temperature thing is also why "alcohol blankets" work. You don't actually get warmer or generate more heat. Instead, you drink alcohol, which causes vasodilation, or expansion of blood vessels. This causes more warm blood to flow to the skin, causing you to feel warmer, even though you're actually losing more body heat.
(Which is why hypothermia victims are sometimes found naked. Their body conserves heat in the core for as long as it can — and then, when it finally gives up, the warm blood rushes to the skin. Suddenly, they feel hot and start taking off their clothes.)
A daring rescue mission near Castle Peak, CA.
But in most situations, it's obviously better to feel a comfortable temperature than be too cold.
Which is why, if you're someone who often feels too cold, you need to remind yourself to dress for the weather and conditions you're expecting. With all the amazing clothing and athletic gear available, there's really no reason to let “cold” keep you from having fun. I like to tell complainers, “If you’re too cold, it means you didn’t dress yourself right.”
For example. The one guy in the whole world who gets colder than me is my pen pal and surf buddy. Rather than let the cold stop him from surfing, he bought booties, gloves, and a hood to complement his wetsuit.
There's a really important reason I'm telling you this, and it's because one of the hoods he considered was this one:
Kinno Scuba Wetsuit Hood, 3mm, $59.99
And it looks like they also come in Dragon, Pink Bunny Rabbit, and Hammerhead Shark...
Who knew being cold could be so fun?
(Though if you want something cheaper, you can find hoods for as low as $13 and booties for as low as $9. It'll be the best $9 you ever spent!)
For another example, I recently met a guy with a great voice, and we've been getting together to work on some duets I've written. And, as a dog owner who's passionate about making sure Ruby meets her FitBark goals every day, I thought the best possible place to rehearse would be by the lake.
In order to make this work, though, we had to be real grown-ups and dress ourselves appropriately. Knowing how cold it gets almost every single night in California, I usually wear a short-sleeve, a long-sleeve, a poofy vest, a sweatshirt, and a jacket; plus either leggings or knee-high socks under my pants.
I have quite the collection. They're so cute -- but so warm!
The first time we rehearsed outside, Charles got chilly -- so the next time, he showed up with long johns.
You really don't have to be cold. Like, ever. As long as you're prepared.
Even when I backpack, and I dress like this during the day:
Catalina Island Trans-Island Trek.
I bring a ton of warm clothes in my pack, because I know it gets chilly at night. And being cold at night is the WORST. You basically can't even sleep, so you just lie there and wait for the sun to come up.
Unless there's a fire -- then, I'm all like:
Long story short: dress for the weather and conditions you're expecting. What else is more worth spending your money on? Remember: money can buy happiness -- if you know how to spend it.
ALSO WORTH NOTING: there are other reasons women are generally colder than men. For example:
A FINAL THING WORTH NOTING: It's okay to be chilly when you start an outdoor activity. In fact, if you're not a little chilly when you start, you'll be too hot in ten minutes.
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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