Winter can be a great excuse to enjoy the comfort of your home. But truth be told, it can also be a challenging season. When storms become tougher and the winds blow harder, you may find yourself wanting it to be over. A few weeks may feel like years if you don’t know how to keep warm in the winter. Here are a few things to learn and add to your survival skills.
Why Keep Warm in the Winter?
Too much cold isn’t always pleasant. Aside from the breezes, winter can also carry various diseases. Flu, colds, and bronchitis are just a few common illnesses during this season. Not to add arthritis and Raynauds. You can easily avoid these by being vaccinated and maintaining proper hygiene.
But what about frostbite and hypothermia?
Hypothermia is a condition that occurs in extremely low temperatures when your body loses more heat than it can produce. It affects your brain and might cause confusion and obliviousness of your surroundings.
Other manifestations of this condition include shivering, exhaustion, fumbling hands, memory loss, and drowsiness for adults. During winter, people who are at risk of hypothermia are those who stay outside for too long especially with inadequate clothing and people who consume unhealthy doses of alcohol and drugs.
Severe conditions of hypothermia may lead to death. To avoid it, make sure your surroundings, including you, are well-heated.
Winter can be merciless—it doesn’t stop wrapping itself around objects until they’re freezing cold. Now, if you hold onto these objects for too long. You may experience frostbite like when outdoor skiing on winter.
Frostbite is common at air temperatures below -15°C. Mild frostbite causes numbness, hard or waxing skin, and muscle stiffness in your toes, fingers, ears, and nose. Moreover, severe cases of frostbite can lead to the death of affected tissues.
If you spend too much time at low temperatures, you have to gather as much heat to avoid frostbite.
As a rule, you should keep warm in the winter with at least 18°C of heating. You can get a lower temperature if you’re healthy and under 65. Just remember, babies and the elderly are more prone to illnesses during this season.
How You Should Keep Warm in the Winter
The risks mentioned above are enough reasons to prepare yourself and your surroundings during the winter season. Let’s look at the following practical tips to help you stay warm in the cold.
1. Dress in Layers
Dressing in layers of clothing is like carrying a lot of blankets with you—except, you’re conveniently wearing them. So start by collecting sweaters and jackets. Stock up on bulky windbreakers for the stormy days. Thin cardigans are great for the first layer of clothing, while hoodies are suitable for overall coverage.
You may also get a scarf and a beanie to protect your neck and head. Aside from their aesthetic purpose, beanies are an excellent addition to your winter outfit because they keep your head warm. Before you go out, make sure you dry your hair quickly first. Excess water in your head before putting on a beanie can freeze and add to the cold.
Don’t forget your extremities! Your hands and feet are prone to getting cold because they’re the farthest from your body and organs. Make sure you’ve got some gloves, mittens, and socks to warm your fingers and toes. These small garments can also help prevent frostbites when you’re touching cold surfaces.
It’s also important to take note of the materials of your winter garments. Clothes made from wool and cotton make good warmers for your body.
More About Winter Gloves
Whatever you do in life, you have a lot of options when it comes to winter gloves to keep your hands toasty warm. There’s a pair for fashionistas, for workers, and for athletes. If you’re someone who’s always glued to your phone, you can also check out winter gloves with increased grip to prevent your gadget from slipping.
Here are a few tips in choosing the perfect winter gloves for you.
- Try lined mittens and waterproof gloves if you have to go out on snow-heavy days.
- If you work outdoors even in winter, get insulated work gloves.
- Buy winter gloves with touchscreen tips if you use your phone heavily.
- Fleece gloves suffice for walking and running in the winter.
- Leather, spandex, and buttoned winter gloves are great for #OOTD!
- Get activewear winter gloves if you work out in the winter.
- Don’t forget ski gloves if you’re going skiing!
2. Move Around to Keep Warm in the Winter
Nothing beats body heat when it comes to how you should keep warm in the winter. The best way to generate body heat is to keep moving around. Shovel ice out of your driveway, fix a broken shelf, or cut some wood for the fireplace. Heavy chores will require more energy from your body, thus generating more body heat.
But before doing household chores, make sure you’re wearing layers of clothing. Not only will your clothes keep you away from the cold breeze, but it will also trap the warmth within your body.
3. Eat Healthily
The best dishes you can cook during winter are soups, stews, and just about anything that can warm your belly. You can check out some of the recipes you can make during winter so you can easily plan your meals.
As mentioned, winter brings many diseases. Hence, you have to boost your immune system with citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, and other food rich in vitamin C.
Meanwhile, foods rich in vitamin D compensate for the lack of sun exposure. These foods include liver, breakfast cereals, red meat, and oily fish such as salmon and sardines.
4. Drink More Hot Cocoa to Keep Warm in the Winter
Booze may make you feel warm on the inside, but alcohol isn’t a sustainable option in the winter. The reason you’ll feel warm right after drinking alcohol is its dilating effect on your blood vessels. Blood rushes to dilated vessels near the surface of your skin, making you feel warm. But since the body heat is now at the surface, the air can take away your warmth more easily than usual.
Alcohol also impairs your ability to shiver—a coping mechanism to keep you warm in the winter.
Maybe you think that coffee is an excellent alternative to alcohol. It may be, but it can have the same side effects when taken in large amounts. The best option is to drink hot cocoa to keep your insides warm and retain the body heat. Although cocoa contains caffeine, it certainly has lower caffeine levels than coffee.
5. Own a Water Bottle
Water boils at 100°C and has a large enough specific heat to stay warm for long. Thus, you can use a simple water bottle as a heater to last a night in the cold.
Water bottles keep beds warmer during the winter. Simply fill up your bottle with hot water, place it under a blanket on your bed, and voilà! You’ll have a heated blanket underside when you snuggle to bed.
Aside from this, water bottles are also useful when going on trips. You can pack them in your bag and bring them out on colder occasions.
6. Keep the Kitchen Busy
But warming yourself up is not enough, and you should also learn how to retain heat in your home. One way to keep warm in the winter is by cooking now and then. The heat from the stove can improve the air around the kitchen and the house.
After baking, you can also keep your oven open, so the hot air moves around the room. Just make sure your children and pets stay far enough to avoid accidents.
7. Use Windows Efficiently to Keep Warm in the Winter
The winter and the sun are not the best of friends. But on their good days, make sure to make the most out of it! Open your curtains and let the sun in. Harvest the natural heat and when the sun comes down, board off your windows. This simple trick will help your rooms and furniture keep warm in the winter.
Curtains and blinds will keep the heat in your house. So, before winter, make sure your windows are boarded up nicely with no leaks around. If you find any holes, plug it with plastic or cloth, or have it repaired. You should also get corks for keyholes and mailboxes. These simple things can be extra helpful once the temperature goes down.
8. Mind the Chimney
If you haven’t yet, buy some fireplace plugs to save energy. These little things will keep out cold air and hold the heat in your house. You can also buy a fireplace cap to reduce downdrafts. But if you want to worry less, you can opt for a better heating system by consulting with experts.
9. Utilize Ceiling Fans
Hot air rises while cold air sinks. Because of this principle, you can efficiently utilize your ceiling fan to drive hotter air near you.
To keep warm in the winter, power on the ceiling fan at low speed. Turn your fan’s settings to a clockwise rotation to disperse hot air down and suck cold air up. Just don’t turn it at the highest speed because fans can still make you feel cold.
10. Invest in Carpets and Heated Floorings to Keep Warm in the Winter
We often take our floors for granted. Moving around the house will make you use your feet a lot, so it’s important that the surface you’re standing on is warm. One way of sealing in the warmth of your home is by using rugs and carpets—this type of flooring cushions your feet away from cold concrete or hardwood floors. Mats and rugs are also useful for noise cancellation and overall comfort.
But carpets have a fair share of advantages and disadvantages. As much as you’d want to carpet all your floors, you still can’t put them in bathrooms. Imagine being excited for a hot shower only to be greeted by cold tile floors?
Thoughts on Winter Survival 101: Keep Warm in the Winter
Winter can be just as fun and exciting as other seasons if you know how to keep warm in it. Fight off the cold, frostbites, and hypothermia with your choice of personal clothing and home items.
Activities such as cooking and household chores can also help create the heat you badly need during a cold day. You can also keep the cold at bay with nutritious, warm food and beverage. With these tips, you can surely improve your survival skills for the next winters to come.