eli5: Should kids really run around to warm up in the winter? (See description)

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It’s normal for kids to complain about the cold at recess. (Snow-on-the-ground temperatures). Teachers would typically tell them “go run around for a bit. You’ll warm up.” I’ve heard this both as a student and as staff. But is this the right advice? Because I get warm when I exercise, but then once I’m sweaty and start to relax, I cool off quickly and feel colder than before. What’s the best advice for these kids if I have no say in going indoors? ELI5.

In: Biology

15 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

As someone that jogs in the winter, running will absolutely keep you warm. Your ears and hands, will still get cold though, so hopefully you have a little winter gear

Anonymous 0 Comments

There is a bit of missing information with this. If you keep moving or move in intervals, you will be warmer. You are supposed to slow down or stop before you start sweating though. Look up some winter survival advice about layers and exertion and it will cover what should be taught to the students.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can either keep moving, which might mean keeping more of a steady pace, or you can wear really good winter clothing, including a layer of wool against your skin. The better your clothing can insulate and still breathe, the better you can deal with fluctuations of body temperature.

I do construction outdoors in weather that gets as cold as -37C, and my activity levels fluctuate a lot; some of the time I’ll be up and down ladders or carrying heavy material, other times I’ll be standing still for an hour, fussing over a small detail. Wearing only wool against my skin has been the single most important thing I’ve done to improve my winter work experience. Wool not only breathes and insulates well, but it also retains far more of it’s insulative value when it does eventually become wet. Absolute game-changer.

Kids often find it to be too scratchy tho. If you or the kids have access to good money, get Merino Wool base layers from an outdoorsy store. Merino wool is not only better at all of the things ordinary wool is good at (good insulative value, and loses less of it when wet), it’s also really comfortable against your skin. It’s not cheap tho.

The indigenous Inuit of the Arctic have a lot of good movement techniques, they highly value maintaining a lower, even level of exertion over long periods of time, rather than short bursts of energy followed by resting periods.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A friend of mine’s dad would ask if we wanted him to “turn on the heater” in the morning and if we said yes then we’d all have to do jumping jacks. Worked though

Anonymous 0 Comments

Hopefully the kids have clothes that will keep them warm by insulating them so that the heat doesn’t escape.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It would be bad advice if they needed to stay in the cold for a long time, and they were at risk of hypothermia. But that’s not what’s going on here.

Just for cold kids during recess, this is perfectly fine. If they run too hard, they may sweat a bit (although kids typically don’t get as sweaty as grown-ups, that comes with weight), but then they’ll be back inside anyway.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>Because I get warm when I exercise, but then once I’m sweaty and start to relax, I cool off quickly and feel colder than before. What’s the best advice for these kids if I have no say in going indoors? ELI5.

Well it seems like the solution is to not relax until you’re back indoors.

Anonymous 0 Comments

What age group are we talking about? Because I’m thinking kids generally play during recess and should be dressed for the weather, then the cold wouldn’t bother them.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Your body generates a lot of heat when it’s active and moving around. As long as you don’t generate enough to get sweaty, it’s a great way to stay warm.

In Boy Scouts during winter camp-outs, kids would sometimes get cold and want to huddle up next to the fire, which doesn’t always work. We always told them to just go for a walk, much better way of warming up.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It works but I never thought it was much if a solution. I wanted to hang out and chat with my friends during recess, not run laps. That’s just exchanging one discomfort for another.