With winter just around the corner here in sunny, water-surrounded Florida, H2O-loving women need to be aware of some warm-up tips when wading. According to the Southeast Climate Center, Florida winters can range from 39 degrees in Tallahassee to a mild 65 degrees in Key West. Although winters in Florida aren’t as harsh as states even just to the north, they are enough to dry up feminine-soft skin and chap lip-sticked mouths.
But winter provides hazards on even more dangerous levels, such as colder water temperatures and a larger likelihood of experiencing cold weather complications. Hypothermia, a condition in which core temperature drops below what is necessary to maintain a functioning metabolism, poses a threat particularly in a peninsula state where boating, fishing and swimming are acceptable at any time of the year.
Fear not, ladies! Women’s Health Magazine has done the research through the vice present and instructor for Mountain Shepherd Wilderness Survival School in Catawba, Virginia for what to do in a situation in which hypothermia may ensue.
Below is a list of four important things to remember during these winter months:
Fetal position- If you find yourself keeping afloat with a bright orange life jacket but tired of paddling, make sure to grab on to your knees and bring all your extremities to the center of your body heat, your chest. Doing this during your “swim breaks” will prevent loss of heat.
Snuggle up- In addition to keeping each other company, you’re in luck if you find yourself stuck in cold water with a friend. Huddling together is an even better way to retain warmth in a cold situation than balling up alone.
Warm hands, warmer heart- On land, after being doused and exposing yourself to cold air (even if it’s Key West and 65!) can induce a drop in core temperature. To prevent this from happening, jam your hands between your legs or in your armpits where warmth is less likely to run out. Keeping fingers heated will help your body feel warmer.
Get some seat heat- Even if you don’t have a stadium seat pad, it is important to put something dry and, preferably, warmer between your tush and the ground. Leaves, bark, or dry clothing work well.
Weathering the weather this winter season should be a cinch but if you find yourself in a not so hot position, the above tips will help you get through it.