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7 Hacks To Survive A Cold Walk & Avoid Freezing On Your Commute

Baby, it's cold outside! If you had it your way, you would probably stay snuggled in your bed all winter long and wouldn’t leave the house until the first signs of spring appeared. But, alas, you have places to go, and no matter how low the temperatures drop, you'll have to brave the frigid days. Staying warm on a winter walk may seem impossible, but the if you dress appropriately and are prepared to face the cold, you'll be able to survive it, if not even enjoy a nice jaunt in the fresh air.

I am no stranger to cold weather. I went to college in Vermont which, in case you aren’t aware, is a very chilly, snow-covered state. Even if the temperature reads the same in other areas of the country, I swear that everything feels colder there. And winter in Vermont pretty much lasts from early October to early May with no respite from freezing temperatures and biting wind chills. After leaving Vermont, I moved myself to Manhattan, which is famous for nothing if not it's aggressive winter wind tunnels and slushy sidewalks. (OK, maybe it's famous for some other stuff, too. But the cold weather plays a part.)

Because of my living situations, I've learned how best to survive those super cold walks. In addition to an extensive collection of scarves, hats, and mittens, I've also accumulated some quality tips on how to not turn into an icicle. Here are some of the ways to survive a cold commute that never let me down.

1. Wear Tights Under Your Pants

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Parkas keep your upper half warm and insulated boots keep your feet safe. But what about your legs? Wear a pair of warm tights underneath your pants. The extra layer will keep the heat in, and your thighs won't have to defrost when you get to where you're going. And if you're too warm once you reach your final destination, you can simply slip them off in the bathroom and store in your bag till you leave.

2. Buy Handwarmers And Footwarmers

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Warmers aren't just for the slopes, folks. When temperatures hit arctic levels, they're for anywhere, all the time. Keep them "hand-y" so your fingers and feet can stay "toe-sty" all winter long.

3. Get Touchscreen Gloves

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People are pretty reliant on their phones, so the idea of not texting for an entire walk might seem preposterous. You have emails to respond to, Instagrams to take, and snapchats to check! But you can still use your smartphone and save your hands from frostbite if you wear a pair of touchscreen gloves.  

4. Layer, Layer, Layer

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The more you layer, the warmer you'll be. On those below zero mornings, start with a tank top, then add a t-shirt, then your sweater, then a shell and then your parka. You'll be way more comfortable than if you just had on a cashmere sweater and coat, since each layer will trap in more body heat. No matter how warm a fabric is, it's still porous and some heat will escape. So the more layers you have on, the less heat you'll let free, and the warmer you will be.

5. Walk With The Wind At Your Back

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You don't really have control over this one if you're heading to a specific place. But if you're just going for a walk to enjoy the winter wonderland, do yourself a favor and walk with the wind. Windchill is the most brutal part of cold weather, especially when it's blowing in your face. At your back, not so bad. Plus, it'll give you a little speed boost.

6. Wear Sunglasses

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People tend to only think of sunglasses in the summer, but the added glare off the snow can do some damage to your eyes. Not to mention, shades shelter your face from the wind. If you wear sunglasses in addition to your hat and and use your scarf to cover up to your nose, your entire face will be covered. You might look a little crazy, but you'll be warm.

7. Stay On The Sunny Side

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Look on the bright side — and then walk there. Avoid shady sections on your walk whenever possible. The warmth of the rays will keep you toasty, and also, who couldn't use a little sunshine in the middle of winter?

And if all else fails, channel your inner-Elsa:

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Images: Thomas8047/Flickr; Giphy (8)