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Five ways to stay warm in winter

By Andrew Bellino

Has your heater been burning a hole in your pocket this winter? Try these cost-cutting tips to warm up.

There are a few simple things you can do to keep warm in winter, which don’t involve cranking up the heater. Here are a few tips which should help stave off the cold.

Layer up

Although you might think that big winter jumpers are the way to go, wearing layers of thin clothes will keep you warmer as they trap body heat.

Another point to remember: the more skin that’s exposed to cool air, the colder you will feel. “When we get cold we conserve heat by reducing the blood flow to the skin,” says Nigel Taylor, Associate Professor at the University of Wollongong’s School of Health Sciences. Professor Taylor adds, women do feel the cold more than men. “When we say we’re cold, most of the information that determines that comes from the skin. If a woman’s skin is cooler it is perfectly normal for a woman to say: ‘I feel cold’, while a man doesn’t feel as cold.”

Eat well and drink warm

While having a hot tea or coffee may make you feel warmer, it’s more to do with the caffeine. That is because caffeine increases blood flow to the skin. You may feel warmer as a result, but your body is actually losing heat. Alcohol has the same affect. Try sticking to decaffeinated or herbal hot drinks instead.

Eating regular meals will also help keep you warm. Healthy hearty foods such as soup and stews are great for warming you up. Try to include carbohydrates in your dishes too. Porridge and soup are great winter-warmers.

Get moving

Working out in the cold may be the last thing you feel like doing this winter but it has the opposite effect too. As well as giving you a rush of endorphins which boosts mood, exercise will get the blood pumping around your body and, vitally, heat up your skin.

“When we are hot we increase the blood flow to the skin. That is why people get red when they exercise – because we are trying to release heat – so the blood flow to the skin increases and your skin feels warmer,” Professor Taylor says.

Stay social

With chilly, longer nights in winter, you might feel like hibernating at home than catching up with friends, but research shows the later might help with the warm and fuzzies – literally. Scientists from the University of Toronto discovered social exclusion makes you feel colder than if you were socialising and spending time with people, which warms you up.

Try to jeep an active social life this winter to help keep the cold at bay and boost your mood.

Snuggle up

Save on your electricity bills this winter and get cosy with warm blankets and doonas instead. Maybe even dig out your hot water bottle, although you should never use it in bed when using an electric blanket too. While sleeping, ensure you stay toasty by wearing pyjamas and bed socks to keep your feet from getting cold overnight.

And while you’re all rugged up, knowing you are doing your bit for the environment (and wallet) by saving energy can leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling too.

Article courtesy of

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