This month brought the first freeze across much of New York State and with it, snow. The end of the fall semester and beginning of the spring semester on SUNY campuses sees a lot of beautifully cold weather (AKA, activities). Since SUNY has campuses on Long Island, in New York City, the Adirondack Mountains, on a Great Lake, near the Canadian Border, and close to Niagara Falls, the weather itself varies but climate is very similar: cold, cold, cold!
If you’re anything like me, you always look for reasons to stay indoors and rationalize “guilty pleasures” like a few extra calories in a day or adventurous up-takings. So, in the spirit of Arctic-like temperatures, here are 5 Things That The Cold Weather Gives You Excuses To Do:
1. Hit the gym to workout. Staying active is a great way to heat up your body, especially during the fall and winter. Exercising gives a person a rush of endorphins, which boosts your mood and will get the blood pumping around your body (resulting in warmer skin). But if the gym isn’t your thing–or reading Intro to Psych on the treadmill is too dangerous–then a personalized heating system, conceptualized by a Binghamton University researcher, may help you lose weight and stay warm.
2. Build your own house. Sounds crazy, right? A couple Binghamton University students actually built a 345-square foot home 15 minutes from the Broome County campus in an effort to save money, in part by controlling their own heating and cooling, and have a smaller environmental footprint. And a bonus? Because the students own the house, they also have the option to make a profit by selling or renting it in the future.
3. Splurge on fancy café drinks. Here it comes… Consuming warm beverages and meals is an effective way to keep your body warm. Try sticking to decaffeinated or herbal hot drinks instead since caffeinated drinks and alcohol actually causes your body to lose heat. And the finishing touch: consider taking advantage of the spice shakers next to the cream and sugar; ingredients like ginger can increase blood circulation and body temperature.
4. Dress like an onion. Just like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts taught us, the more skin that’s exposed to cool air, the colder you will feel (novel idea, right?). It is important to trap as much body heat as you can. To do this, layering is the best way to stay warm–under your jacket, for example, bundle up with a warm fleece and consider wear long-johns underneath your pants. If you’re just walking to class on a brisk day, consider putting on several thin layers to trap warm air close to the body. And since we lose most of our body heat through the hands and feet, make sure to wear thick socks and a warm hat (& so that you can help yourself avoid the flu!)
5. Host an ‘ugly sweater’ party. Researchers have discovered that spending quality time with friends and family will keep you warmer while social exclusion actually makes you feel colder. So students from the University at Buffalo to SUNY Delhi, and Stony Brook University to SUNY Plattsburgh can avoid the chill this winter by putting on a hideous top and snuggling up next to your friends–watch a home movie, bake cookies, or get your study on!
Cover photo: Morrisville State College
Shaniese Alston was a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York for the fall 2013 academic semester while a student at the University at Albany.