7 Things Your Body Does in Freezing Cold Weather
With this dangerously cold weather, you should know what could happen if you are outside for too long and not bundled up enough.
1. Your blood flow is redirected from your extremities toward your vital organs. This is why your hands and feet tend to feel cold first. It's your body's way of keeping your core temperature up.
2. You get goosebumps. All mammals fluff up their body hair when they're cold, including humans. But since we don't have much body hair, all you see is the tiny muscles around your follicles contracting. That's what goosebumps are.
3. You start to shiver, which actually warms you up a little bit. It's like a self-defense mechanism for your body. When your muscles shake, they generate heat. And that keeps your core temperature from falling too fast.
-- The next four things are in the danger zone --
4. Frostbite sets in: Your skin and the tissue under it literally start to freeze. This can happen in as little as 5 minutes in sub-zero temperatures. If you're not wearing a hat, your ears are one of the first things to go.
5.. You start to feel confused. This is a sign of hypothermia, and it starts happening when your body temperature gets down to about 95 degrees. You will start to lose focus and slur your words at that point.
6. You eventually STOP shivering. That's when you know you have SEVERE hypothermia. It's also when people feel the need to lie down, which is dangerous. Confusion can also set in at this point (which has led to some people feeling the urge to take their clothes OFF.)
7. You can temporarily go blind. When your body temperature falls far enough, the blood vessels in your eyes start to contract. Which can make you go BLIND, but usually just temporarily.