Posts tagged ‘winter’

We Don’t Lose Most of Our Heat Through Our Heads

By Chad Upton | Editor

Winter hat, stocking cap, beanie or toque; whatever you call it, it keeps your head warm. But, it doesn’t necessarily keep you warm.

An old US Army survival manual suggested wearing a hat since “40 to 45 percent of body heat” is lost through your head. This recommendation is thought to have come from a military experiment over 60 years ago when participants were dressed from neck to toe in Arctic clothing, but no headwear. Over time, this has snowballed into “most” heat is lost through our heads. (more…)

November 27, 2012 at 2:00 am 2 comments

Babies Don’t Shiver

By Kaye Nemec

When adults are cold, our bodies shiver to engage our muscles and produce more body heat. When babies are cold their bodies do not react in the same way. Instead of shivering, babies warm themselves by burning body fat.

Babies are born with brown thermogenesis fat, also known as brown fat (because of its color). Brown fat is basically a fat-burning type of fat. Scientists used to think brown fat was only found in babies but recent studies suggest it does not actually disappear with age. For adults this could end up being the ultimate diet solution. For a baby it is critical for temperature regulation.

Brown fat is filled with mitochondria. When the body is fueled with food (sugar) the mitochondria help to transform sugar into energy in the form of heat. This heat warms the babies until they are able to shiver like adults.

Does this process warm them? Yes. However, some studies suggest this takes away calories that should be used to help the baby grow.

It is usually recommended that babies are dressed warm and in layers but ask your pediatrician for specific recommendations on ways to keep your baby warm, like what temperature you should keep your house at.

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Sources: Riley Hospital for Children,, Chicago Tribune

Photo: Kaye Nemec

December 22, 2010 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Some Palm Trees Can Survive Freezing Winters

Palm trees usually symbolize warm and tropical climates. From Hollywood, we know the streets of Los Angeles and Miami are lined with beautiful palm trees. Hollywood portrays New York and Chicago as cold and windy, which they are for part of the year. But, there are real palm trees in both New York and Chicago.

New York has had palm trees in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden since the 1980s. Chicago has palms at the beach on Lake Michigan.

Although we closely associate palms trees with warm climates, there are a some palm species that can survive freezing winters.

Any variety of palm that can survive colder geographies that are not usually considered palm regions, are called “hardy palms.” Many of them are native to higher elevations in Asia and survive freezing weather with little or no damage. (more…)

May 5, 2010 at 12:13 am 6 comments

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