As the year comes to an end and winter draws near, temperatures reduce and it gradually becomes harder to stay warm. There are ways to keep warm despite the cold weather and we’ll be exploring ten of these tips on how you can stay warm during this freezing winter.
Wearing multiple layers helps to insulate your body and keep you warm on a cold summer day. The first layer should be your underwear which is worn directly on your skin underneath any layers that may be worn afterward.
The best option for the first layer is thermal underwear which consists of different clothing articles that will help you stay toasty without adding too much bulk to your clothing.
Items of thermal underwear could include stockings, thermal shirts, long underwear, and leggings. Thermal underwear is specially designed to trap body heat to provide warmth. Thermal underwear is usually made from fabrics such as polyester and wool due to their lightweight nature and tendency to wick away moisture.
Bear in mind that layers worn beneath your clothes can make you feel uncomfortable, especially if you are in a warm room or office.
Wear a Heat Retaining Layer
Wear an insulating layer that helps conserve body heat which keeps you warm and keeps the cold out. Fabric such as fleece and wool are good insulators when used in clothing articles though the latter can be expensive.
There are several other options like leather, fur, neoprene, and down. However, wool has an edge due to the fact that it keeps you warm even when wet, unlike other materials.
Wear a Waterproof Outer Layer
A waterproof outer layer is important when going out and there’s a high probability of getting wet. If your clothing gets wet it will only make you feel colder so a waterproof outer layer is important for keeping cool. Wear a rain jacket beneath your coat and when buying coats select materials that are both waterproof and warm.
Use a humidifier
Temperature alone doesn’t dictate how warm the atmosphere feels, humidity is also an important factor. Dry temperatures characteristically feel colder than equal temperatures with higher humidity.
A humidifier can add moisture back into the air and help you to regulate the temperature in your house, making it a worthwhile investment for cool winter days. Humidifiers are also good for your hair and skin and help them stay soft and moisturized all winter.
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If you do not own a humidifier and cannot get access to one there are DIY alternatives such as boiling water then switching off the heat and allowing the water vapour moisturize the air or placing a bowl adjacent to a radiator or air vent which results in faster evaporation due to the warm air.
Cover your Extremities
There may be several myths floating around about losing up to 45 percent of heat from your head. These myths are untrue yet there is a lot to be gained from covering up your extremities to protect from the cold.
Leaving these areas unprotected makes it hard to stay warm. When you’re going out make sure you cover your head, hands, feet, and neck. Wear gloves, socks, scarves, head warmers, boots, and other items to cover these extremities and keep warm.
When buying the previously mentioned articles go for waterproof and insulated variants as feet, hands, and other extremities are the body parts most likely to get wet.
Insulate your Home
Keep your house as warm as it can possibly be, cover windows with more effective options like thick blankets or curtains. You can also get better insulation in your walls and ceilings to maintain warmer temperatures in your house.
Cover windows and glass doors with insulating film which creates a small layer of air between itself and your windowpane which acts as an insulator. Seal doorways with foam stoppers or roll a spare towel and push it up against the bottom of your door to prevent a draft from lowering the temperature of your house,
If window frames or openings for electrical outlets have cracks around them use caulk to cover up the crack and prevent heat from escaping.
Physical activities can help you keep warm in the cold winter, when you exert yourself physically you burn fat and your body’s metabolism increases your body temperature. Leverage the use of your body’s natural response to exercise or other physical activities to keep warm and stay in shape simultaneously.
If you are not a fan of exercise you can replace it with other physical activities like cleaning. Anything that keeps you active is fine as it burns calories and increases body temperature helping you stay warm in winter.
Using a Ceiling Fan
Making use of a ceiling fan during a cold winter might seem silly as the general use of a fan is to cool down the house. If fans are used for cooling won’t using a fan make the house cooler?
The answer is no.
Fans can be used in the winter to keep warm by making them run anticlockwise. They work similar to extractor fans and help you suck out cold air from a room.
When the blades spin they pull up warm air from the floor to the ceiling helping the warm air travel through the room. Some fans have a switch at their base to select this configuration and make the fan spin in reverse to achieve the desired effect.
Change your Diet
You may be wondering what your diet has to do with keeping warm in the winter, but the food you eat can actually have an effect on your body temperature and result in you feeling warm even in the cold weather. Thermogenesis in simple terms is when your body generates heat by metabolising food.
The food you eat can help you stay warm because foods that take longer to digest raise the body temperature and make you feel warmer. Target foods that are high in healthy fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Foods like oats and bananas are good for achieving the desired effect and keeping warm.
Insulate your Loft
Keeping your attic insulated is important to keep the cold out of your house and guard against heat loss in the winter. There are several options for insulating your house
- Blanket Insulation: blanket insulation can be bought in batts or rolls and can be installed in a DIY fashion. It can be made from natural fibre, plastic fibres, mineral wool, and fiberglass. This is best for spaced attics with few obstructions. To get the best effect trim the batts carefully so they fit perfectly
- Loose-fill Insulation: This insulation is better for attics with little headroom or attics with obstruction. It can be blown over pre-existing insulation and comes in cellulose, fiberglass, and mineral wool. Cellulose offers the best insulation among the other options but can become mouldy if exposed to moisture.
- Sprayed foam Insulation: This is the most expensive insulation and requires professional installation. There are two different types, open cell and closed cell. closed cell is filled with a gas that allows the foam around it to expand to fill up all available space and can act as a moisture vapour barrier while open cell is filled with air and does not offer as much insulation with its spongy texture.
If your house is already insulated you can also check if your loft is leaking heat with a thermal camera or perform a full energy audit.
Warm yourself from the Inside Out with Hot Food and Drink
Apart from eating hot foods the process of cooking them also helps warm up you and your surroundings. Cooking meals helps to warm up your house as the heat from your stove or oven spreads to the rest of the house and helps the house stay warm.
The exertion of cooking also helps warm you up while also saving money by making home-cooked meals instead of ordering out.
Drinking hot drinks also helps to keep warm and this is evident by the popularity of hot chocolate in the winter, alternatives like ginger tea and coffee also speed up your metabolism and help you keep warm.
Cover the Floor with Rugs
Flooring is an important part of staying warm in the winter. Flooring like tiles tend to conduct heat away from and feel cold to the touch, cover the floor with rugs to booth keep your feet warm and insulate your house.
Most people feel alcohol has a warming effect in winter but the opposite is the case because alcohol actually lowers your core body temperature. Alcohol actually prevents the body from carrying out its natural responses to low temperatures.
Alcohol is a vasodilator (Vasodilators are substances that cause blood vessels to dilate. They affect muscles in the walls of arteries and veins and prevent them from tightening resulting in increased blood flow) which makes it increase the volume of blood brought to the skin’s surface which results in you feeling warmer but this opposes one of your body’s natural responses to cold weather.
Your body usually constricts blood vessels to maintain your core body temperature while alcohol dilates the blood vessels which initially makes you feel warmer but the blood rushing to your skin will be cooled quickly by the chill in the air making core body temperature drop even lower.
Layer your Covers
Layer your covers so you can retain the most heat, it sounds like common knowledge but make sure the fluffy blankets are next to your skin, thinner blankets should be placed above to prevent convective heat loss.
Fool Your Thermostat
If you have a locked thermostat that can’t be accessed to adjust the temperature in your apartment fool it by making it think the temperature is lower than it actually is. You can place ice near it to achieve the desired effect and get a warmer room.
Gather in a Central Room
If you are not on your own, then gathering in a central room helps you focus on warming a single room instead of the whole house or apartment which helps to reduce costs and improve the effectiveness of heating solutions.
Choose a single room and close it off from the rest of the house to prevent losing heat. Focus your heaters and other alternatives solely on this room, close doors and seal them with towels or blankets.