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Handling Winters in Canada

Winters in Canada will be very cold and snowy, with a varying degree of intensity across the country, ranging from -5° C to - 50° C. In one of my previous posts, I explained how brutal winters can be at Canada. If you missed to read it, you can check out the post here


You may find below few means to tackle the harsh climate at Canada. If you are new to Canada or planning to relocate to Canada or a similar place with terrible winter season, hope you might find this useful.

  • Dress up in layers: First and foremost is to dress up in warm and cozy attire, even while indoors. When you are exposed to cold weather for longer duration, you may experience frostbite. Feet, hand, nose, ears are affected the most and they may become black, numb, swell and pain. At home, you may wears socks or slippers to keep your feet warm and avoid frost bite. When you intend to step out, do not forget to wear thermals, jacket, gloves, cap and winter shoes. 
  • Invest in good winter wear: Well insulated jackets, gloves, caps, winter shoes, snow boots are must haves for Canadian winters. You may also buy snow pants, if you are an outdoor person and want to explore skiing, sledging, ice-skating, etc. Choose good quality winter wear against cheap buys; they will not only protect you well, but also last longer. Look out for best deals during boxing day and clearance sales at the end of winter season. 
  • Indoor heating: Maintain room temperature between 18° - 21° C. Have your heating system serviced well before winter begins, so that you can have uninterrupted heat in the house. Generally condos and apartments have centralized heating system (charges included in rent in most of the cases). If you live in detached or semi-detached house, ensure to always maintain an optimum temperature to avoid damages to water pipes.
  • Humidifier is a must: Due to indoor heating, the air becomes very dry and can cause nasal congestion, nose bleeding and dry skin. So keep humidifiers always switched on. You may use warm or cool-mist humidifier, based on your preference.   
  • Stay active: I know gloomy weather and staying active are contradicting terms. But trust me, this is the best way to keep the cold at bay. Try exercising at least 30 minutes a day, as it pumps up the blood, makes you feel warm and preps you for the day. 
  • Don't take hot showers: Yes, you read it right. Who doesn't love to enjoy a hot shower on a cold winter day? But doing so is harmful. It not only rips off the natural moisture and make your skin dry, it also makes you feel colder once you step out of the shower. So always shower in cold or mild warm water.
  • Moisturize: Cold weather makes the air around us dry and sucks out the moisture from our bodies. So use moisturizers, lip balms, hand lotions to keep yourself well moisturized.  
  • Hydrate: Try to drink as much water as possible to keep yourself hydrated. It aids in maintaining body temperature and improves metabolism. We generally don't feel thirsty during winters; but try to keep reminders to drink at 8-10 glasses of water every day. 
  • Eat healthy: Eat well balanced and nourished meals. Good fats help to maintain the body temperature. You can try making delicious protein balls (click here to view the recipe) which is full of proteins and healthy fats that are essential to keep you warm in winter. Also try to have warm, light meals and include ingredients like sesame seeds, flax seeds, peppers, horse gram, figs etc. in your food, which generates heat in the body.
  • Check your vitamin D level: During winters sunlight is not only scarce, we generally don't expose ourselves to sunlight when available, dreading to the chillness outside. So naturally vitamin D level in the body goes down. Try to consume food rich in vitamin D like salmon, cod liver oil, egg yolk, mushrooms etc. Also if need be, take vitamin D supplement, only based on the evaluation by your doctor, as higher D levels are known to be dangerous.
  • Follow weather forecasts: Check weather forecast before you intend to step out of the house. This helps you to dress up appropriately and plan your travel better and comfortable. Don't get mislead by the actual temperature. Pay attention to "feels-like" temperature, as it takes wind chills into consideration and can vary drastically in comparison to the actual temperature. One should be very careful when going out, if feels-like temperature drops below -15° C with gusty winds beyond 40km/hr.
  • Clearing snow: If you live in detached or semi-detached house, ensure to clear snow at the earliest from side walks and driveways to prevent any damage to people using it. Snow shoveling will become very strenuous, if it is allowed to accumulate and solidify. Also failing to clear snow in a timely manner can be a chargeable offence, depending on your location.  
  • Car care: Before the winter kicks in, change your car tires to winter tires, which are designed to withstand severe winter conditions. They have more traction and help in better braking. Do not use water for wind shields. Instead buy fluid meant for winters, as water can freeze at low temperature. Also remember to use anti-freeze coolant for your car. If you have uncovered parking space, before the snowfall, ensure to lift the wipers up, to prevent them from freezing and sticking to the windshield. This also makes cleaning the snow easier. Car battery health checkup is another point to take care of.  Get your battery checked regularly and have a jump start in your car tool kit. It comes handy in case your car battery goes dead. 
These are some ways to sail through the 5-6 months of winter at Canada. First time is always new and tricky. With experience, we will be able to adapt, adjust and enjoy the season!!!

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  1. I have experienced the winter misery and totally agree with your thoughts

  2. You've written a fantastic article about snow company. This article provided me with some useful knowledge. Thank you for providing this information.


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