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Forget how to winter? Your guide to get through the chill

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It's understandable: after these past fall, summer and spring months, you probably forgot how to winter.

But Monday ushered in the unofficial start of winter with a snowstorm hitting much of the state. So we're here to get you back up to speed. It's easy, (kind of ridiculous at times) and most importantly, you've done it before. It's like riding a bike (on solid ground, not ice).

How to walk on ice

Traversing the ice-covered sidewalks and roads is treacherous for everyone. But, there's actually a proper way to do it so you don't fall, and it's all about your center of gravity. Here's the low-down. And to help you remember it, we’ve made up a verse to the tune of The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian." (Here's a reference if you need to hear it.)

"All the Minnesotans used to
Summer, they like sun, and warmth and shorts.
When the autumn comes (whoaaaa-ayy-oh)
They bundle up, and begin to pray.
All the people in the North Stare State say:
'Walk like a cold penguin.'"

Seriously, walk like a penguin and you'll be fine, as this handy Infographic from Tablet explains:

How to stay warm

Even when you come inside, you're going to occasionally have the chills.

The hands and feet are always the first to to start feeling the chill. has four ways to quickly get those extremities back to a comfortable temperature, including putting them in warm water and staying hydrated (to keep blood flowing).

Hot drinks are always tempting too, but guess what: That may not actually work.

NPR reported hot drinks actually cool you down, because of the way certain receptors respond to the temperature. On the opposite end, German website said the opposite is true too, as a cold drink will cause blood vessels to tighten, warming you up.

And if you're feeling a little more lax, offers "The Lazy Girl's Guide to Staying Warm." (Though these are perfectly acceptable for all people.)

Included in the list: Don't leave your bed's blankets - use your bed as a desk; sit closely with your pet to share body heat; and watch TV shows or movies that take place in hot climates.

How to drive

If you haven't already, you'll walk outside and see your car's windows covered in ice and snow.

You might think about clearing out one little hole, hopping in the car to get warm and be on your way ... but don't do that.

Peering through a small opening is known as “peephole driving.” The teeny porthole can prevent “doofus drivers” from seeing "pedestrians at crosswalks, cars in adjoining lanes, hapless bicyclists, leashless dogs and other clueless drivers,” the Star Tribune wrote last year. It's also illegal.

Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol told the paper a citation for obscured vision can cost upwards of $130.

There's also simply driving in the snow, which is of course a little harder than driving on sunny pavement.

The HowStuffWorks Auto section has five common winter driving mistakes to avoid, including: Driving too fast, slamming on the brakes, and thinking a four-wheel drive car makes you invincible (it actually doesn't).

How to stay healthy and positive

It's easy for the cloudy, gray skies and snowfall to put you down (especially if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder). But there are ways to help yourself through until the spring and summer return.

WebMD compiled a list of eight "Winter Tips for Healthy Living." There are tips to prevent annoying cold sores, suggested ways to de-stress, and tips to exercise and eat healthy.

If you have children, has a selection of tips, which includes making sure everyone is drinking lots of water, ensuring hands are being washed frequently, and eating mushrooms. We can’t make this stuff up, folks.

There you have it. From penguins to fungi. Your unofficial guide to winter-ing in Minnesota. Godspeed.

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