There’s a lot to look forward to in the cold winter months, like cozy nights spent at home under a blanket and a wealth of stunning and picturesque views outside. But winter doesn’t always mean wonderland. Extremely cold weather also means being uncomfortable, having a heightened risk of getting sick, and being more vulnerable to malaise and lethargy.
To combat all of these and thus stay happy and healthy during the cold months, it’s important to keep your body warm. This means making key adjustments to the way you dress, the environments you stay in, what you eat, and how often you move. To that end, here are six smart tips for staying warm and comfy in cold weather. Observe these for yourself and recommend them to others, like your family members and friends.
Wear Sufficiently Warm Layers
The first thing you can do to keep yourself warmer and better equipped to handle cold weather is to dress appropriately. In the cold winter months when you anticipate lots of ice, snow, and chilly breezes, it’s best to dress in three layers, namely:
- a base layer consisting of your thermals and underwear,
- a middle layer consisting of your actual clothes, plus additions like fleece and a puffer jacket, and;
- an outer layer consisting of clothes that will protect you from outdoor elements, like a large rain jacket or an overcoat.
Besides your upper body, your lower body also needs to be sufficiently protected from the cold. Keep your lower half warm and insulated by wearing garments like opaque tights with your dresses, skirts, or even shorts. Cover your ankles and keep them from getting cold and wet by wearing full-length tights, socks, or boots.
Make It a Point to Stay Dry
In the cold months, low temperatures aren’t your only enemies. You also have to take care not to get too wet. The extra moisture on your body could accelerate the loss of body heat, therefore making you more you susceptible to conditions like hypothermia.
Invest in clothes that have moisture-wicking as well as thermal properties, and use them when you’re exercising or going outside in the snow. If your clothes, socks, or gloves do get wet, try to change out of them as soon as possible. Bring a set of spare clothes, as well as spare gloves and socks, in either your backpack or your car.
Set the Heater On and Let It Warm Up the Rooms in Your Home
You can already expect to use your heater more often in the cold seasons, and you shouldn’t skimp on heating when the cold temperature gets extreme. If you’re worried about the cost of utilities, remember that there are ways for you to be smart and energy-efficient about your heating while not depriving your body of the heat and comfort it needs.
For example, instead of turning the heater all the way up immediately before you use a room, allot extra time for the room to slowly heat up at a slightly lower temperature, then adjust it as necessary. In addition, try dedicating most of the time you spend at home in a few particular rooms instead of turning the heating on for every room.
Identify Sources of Cold Drafts in Your Home
Yet another way to ensure both comfort and energy efficiency in your home during the cold months is to insulate it properly. Be sure to identify any sources of cold drafts, like little holes in the walls or flooring, and to seal these up with insulation solutions like draft stoppers or insulation film.
Before the next winter hits, schedule any major home improvement projects that you need professionally done, like putting up new layers of insulation. Doing so will ensure that you and the rest of your household stay warm in the long term.
Have at Least One Hot Meal a Day
Your body will crave warm and nutritious food during the cold season, and it’s good to indulge it with hot and nourishing meals at least once a day. Hearty soups, stews, and casseroles are perfect for the occasion. If you don’t always have the time or the energy to cook when it’s cold, look up meal prep recipes and store precooked meals in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to eat.
The cold season also lends itself well to hot coffee, hot chocolate, and even drinks like mulled wine. Don’t hesitate to treat yourself to these at least once in a while.
Get Some Physical Activity In
Lastly, even though cold weather can tempt you to be sedentary, carve out some time to exercise and keep your body active. Exercise can help you feel warmer and boost your circulation, both of which you’ll need when it’s cold.
Go out for a walk or a light jog whenever the weather permits. If you’d rather stay indoors, you can also do light exercises like yoga or aerobics in a properly heated space.
With these tips at your disposal, it shouldn’t be as hard to get through the cold season and, ultimately, enjoy the things that you’ll only be able to enjoy at this time of the year. Stay warm and tight, and don’t let the frost bite!