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      David Paez

      Winter health tips for a comfortable winter in Boston

           

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      So far, this year the winter in Boston and most of the New England area has not shown its true usual colors. Weather patterns have fluctuated between moderate to cold temperatures, with slight chill factors followed by unusual heat waves, resulting in the constant misleading sensation of uprising spring rather than that of winter in the air. Not to worry, if you are a fan of winter weather or more of the spring type here are selected tips that got you covered and point you in a healthier and safer exercising direction.

       It is fine to exercise in the cold as long as you take certain precautions to avoid hypothermia.

      Insulating Layers

      Insulating yourself against the wind and other elements is key, to create a much necessary barrier. The obvious advantage is the removal of the outer layer in case of increased body temperature. It is recommended that the first layer is made of synthetic/polyester material which dries quicker and will keep moisture away. The second layer material should preferably be made of wool and the outermost layer should be light weight water/wind/snow repellent jumper or sport jacket.  

      Hat and Gloves

      About half of your body heat is lost from an uncovered head when temperatures are below freezing. Wearing a hat will help your body retain heat and functionality Gloves will help prevent skin damage and frostbite in sub-zero temperatures and further provide constant blood flow to the rest of the body.

      Face Protection

      Protect the skin on your face by covering it up with a scarf or a mask and further allowing warm frigid air to enter before you inhale, thus helping the protection of your lungs.

      Current Weather Forecast Check Up

      Check the air temperature and wind chill factor before exercising outside.  There is  little risk when exercising in 20° Fahrenheit, even with 30 miles per hour winds, but that dangers exist when the combined temperature and wind-chill falls below -20°F, which can happen occasionally in Boston.

      The most accurate and current weather forecasts can be accessed through the help of these four websites:

      https://weather.com/

      Best all around user friendliness.

      http://www.accuweather.com/

      Best specialty forecasts.

      http://www.wunderground.com/

      Best local forecast.

      http://www.weather.gov/

      Cleanest display of features.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      A Guide to Picking out the Perfect Christmas Tree in the Boston Area

      Whether you want to cut your own tree or purchase a precut tree, BIRE has your covered. The following is list of places to find the perfect holiday decorations and Christmas trees. Cutting your own Christmas at a local farm offers a family activity that can become a tradition spanning decades.

       

      Places to Cut-your-own Christmas Trees

      1.     Smolak Farms

      315 S Bradford St
      North Andover, MA 01845
      Phone: (978) 682-6332

      Website: http://www.smolakfarms.com/trees

      Hours: 8:30AM-4:00PM

       

      Although Smolak Farms is about a 45 minute drive out of Boston, it is definitely worth the trip. They offer a program called Choose N' Cut, where all size trees are priced at $69. Smolak Farms recommends that you come early to cut your own tree, as they tend to sell out each season.  That's a pretty good deal. You can also purchase a Pre-cut tree. They have a large selection of freshly harvested firs to choose from with prices starting at $48 and go up to $140, depending on the size that you are looking for.

       

      2.     Maple Crest Farm

      102 Moulton Street
      West Newbury, MA.
      Phone: (508) 641-5955

      Website: http://www.maplecrestfarm.biz/index.html

      Hours: 9AM-4PM Friday- Sunday: November 27, 28, 29th & Saturday and Sunday: Dec 5-6th & December 12-13th and by appointment

      Maple Crest Farm is a 45 minute drive out of Boston, but with the beautiful coastal scenery, it is well worth the drive. The farm offers a fun family experience complete with complimentary wagon rides, hot chocolate, and marshmallow toasting. They also provide complimentary saws and twine and will bale your tree. Maple Crest prices their trees at $60 apiece and only accepts cash or local check.

      Places to Buy Pre-Cut Christmas Trees

      3.     Boston Christmas Trees

      22 Harvard Ave

      Allston, MA.  

      (Across from Model Hardware and The Draft)

      Phone: (617) 510-0866

      Website: http://bostonchristmastrees.com/

      Hours: 8:00AM - 10:00PM, seven days a week, from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

      Boston Christmas Trees is a great and convenient place to find the perfect Christmas tree, and they have ample free parking, which is a luxury in Boston. This is a one stop shop where you can purchase everything from Wreaths: Plain and Decorated, four sizes and types of Christmas tree stands Garland, Mistletoe, Mantel Pieces & Table Baskets. They offer Balsam Fir and Fraser Fir Trees: From 3? to 12? ranging from$10 to $125.

      4.     Allandale Farm

      259 Allandale Road

      Brookline, MA 02467

      Phone: (617) 524-1531

      Website: http://www.allandalefarm.com/home.html
      Hours: Weekdays 9am-7pm, Weekends 9am-6pm. Closed for the season December 32rd
       

      Allandale Farm has a variety of fresh cut balsam and Fraser fir trees are arriving weekly from Nova Scotia and North Carolina. They also have a great selection of wreaths, garland, winterberry, holiday plants, and evergreen centerpieces.

       

      5.     Beverly Tree Farm

      300 Dodge Street

      Beverly, MA 01915

      Phone: (978) 810-4178

      Website:  www.beverlytreefarm.com/

      Hours: 9AM-3PM November 27th,28th, 29th & December 5th, 6th or While Supplies Last

       

       

      What type of tree do I choose?

      At this point your probably asking yourself, what is the difference between all of these trees and which one should I choose?! Well no need to worry, here are descriptions of the trees types mentioned in the guide above to help you understand what you're searching for.

      Balsam- A very traditional tree, the Balsam has short, flat, dark green needles that won't fall off the branch right after you get it.

      Blue Spruce- A unique coloring, the blue spruce can range from dark green all the way to powdery blue. The stiff branches on the spruce are great for heavier ornaments.

      Canaan Fir- Though a less common variety, the Canaan Fir is very similar to Fraser Fir and Balsam varieties. The medium-strong branches and deep green color make for a traditional Christmas feel.

      Douglas Fir- A full-bodied pyramid shape, the Douglas Fir lasts a long time when cut and has anywhere from blue to dark green needles. These needles, when crushed, emit some of the best Christmas tree scents of any variety.

      Fraser Fir- With a deliciously pine-y scent and bicolor needles (green on top and silvery white on the bottom), this tree is the epitome of holiday spirit. The space between branches is also great for ornament placing.

      Tips on Selecting your Pre-Cut Tree:

      ·       Measure your space

      o   Be sure you know what size (height and width) you need before heading to the retail lot. Measure the ceiling height in the room where the tree will be displayed. The trees in the field look small when the sky is the ceiling. Don't overbuy. Measure the width of the area of the room where the tree will be displayed. Most trees on tree farms are trimmed to an 80% taper. So a tree that's 10' tall will be 8' wide at the bottom. A tree that will fit in the room vertically may be entirely too big horizontally.

      • Do a branch/needle test for freshness
        • Run a branch through your enclosed hand - the needles should not come off easily. Bend the outer branches - they should be pliable. If they are brittle and snap easily, the tree is too dry.

       

      • Look for other indicators of dryness or deterioration
      Indicators might include: excessive needle loss, discolored foliage, musty odor, needle pliability, and wrinkled bark. A good rule-of-thumb is, when in doubt about the freshness of a tree, select another one. If none of the trees on the lot look fresh, go to another lot.