- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
10 Ways to Stay Warm in Cold Weather
It’s winter time in the Northern Hemisphere and many of us are dealing with the usual task of staying warm. Some of us have to contend with snow and ice while others have rain or cool winds to consider. Regardless of location or varying weather conditions, the following is a general list of suggestions for staying warm should one feel cold. Some are common sense but reminders always help!
In no particular order:
- Add extra layers to your outfit: a warm sweater or cardigan (wool is very warm), a cotton pullover, a hooded sweatshirt or a fleece zip up. If you’re getting dressed for the day and know you’ll be outdoors in cold conditions consider throwing on some thermal undergarments. Ladies, tights or leggings provide an extra seal of warmth under pants or denim or even alone with some tall boots. A warm coat or jacket certainly does the job for everyone too.
- Cover your head and wrap a scarf around your neck. While science is still researching heat loss from the head, it’s still true that the head, neck and face are sensitive to temperature changes. Thus, covering the head, ears and neck and avoiding exposure to the elements definitely helps.
- Keep your extremities covered; thicker socks (merino wool blends are great) can really make a difference while gloves or mittens also have their important place in keeping warm. Footwear with extra lining also help some with cold toes and feet.
- Heat your environment: get a fire going in the fireplace, utilize a safe space heater or radiator, turn up the heating in your home. Use hand or foot warmers if you have them or a Japanese Yutanpo (hot water bottle) to keep you comfortable. You can even jump into bed and under the warmth of plenty of covers to shake off some cold. If you’re going to be baking or roasting something in the oven, consider hanging out in the kitchen for a bit and soak up some of the heat radiating from the oven.
- Get up and move. If you’re at work, get up for a quick walk around. Doing some kind of activity where you move your entire body (sweeping, vacuuming, shoveling snow are some examples) gets your blood and energy flowing while better yet, active exercise helps to rev your body temperature. Go for a run, power walk (pump those arms!), do a series of jumping jacks, or turn on your favorite tunes and dance.
- Drink something hot or warm, like tea. Beyond just the heat from the hot water, consuming teas that have an extra kick (think ginger tea or chai) can provide additional warming benefits .
- If you’re cold (and hungry), eat something that will get you warm fast. Absorb some heat that come from foods that contain warming spices such as chili peppers, garlic, cloves and cinnamon. If you have access to ethnic groceries or restaurants nearby, Indian or Thai curry dishes, Korean kimchi or even various salsa preparations can be helpful choices (some might even clear your sinuses and make you sweat!). Or, simply go with a hot bowl of soup or dive into some Asian noodle dish like a steaming bowl of ramen or Vietnamese phở .
- If you’re due soon for a shower or bath, take one but just remember that hot water is drying to the skin so choose warm over hot water. Make sure to moisturize well afterwards.
- Hug someone or snuggle up with a warm body, like Spot, your loving pooch. Get cozy and feel body heat work some wonders.
- On sunny days, take a break and bask in the sun for a bit. Just be sure not to overdo it and risk sunburn and such.
It’s easy to slow down during the winter months but staying warm and dressing smart can help you stay on course by keeping you comfortable. Find what works for you and continue living life!