Winter is on our doorstep. While December 21st is the official start date of the winter season, the country has already seen plenty of sub-zero temperatures and a wealth of snow. The result is that many of us have been looking for ways of staying warm, yet we’re almost always met with the same advice.
“Turn the heating up”
“Go for a run”
“Put on a jumper”
We already know the normal ways of staying warm, but what if you’re looking for some better, new-age ways of fighting the cold? Well, look no further…
“Wrap Up” Warm
What’s the first thing anyone will tell you to do when you’re cold? Put on extra layers.
But extra layers are uncomfortable, baggy, and not what you want to be wearing when lounging around at home. What you need is a way to stop heat escaping your house, or getting in. If you have thin walls and windows, especially if you live in an apartment, it’s easy for heat to bleed out and the cold to creep its way in.
What you need to do is create your own insulation. So, why not try bubble wrap?
Full of pockets of air perfect for trapping heat, bubble wrap is an excellent makeshift insulator that can help keep your home warm. Place it over doors you don’t open, windows, cat flaps and even across walls if you have enough of the stuff. Make your house a bubble wrap paradise and keep the bitter cold where it belongs: outside!
Take Up ‘Snowga’
Yoga isn’t always about calm movements and absolute stillness. If it were, it would be ridiculous to include in this list. Winter yoga, or Snowga, is outdoor yoga practised during the colder months. It’s a more intensive kind of yoga that encourages full-body poses that activate a variety of muscles.
Tough-to-maintain positions gets the blood pumping, muscles flexing and naturally increases your body heat through targeted exercise. Poses like sun salutations also improve circulation and blood flow, helping to fill your entire body with energy and warmth.
Activate Your Brown Fat
The word ‘fat’ encompasses a great many things.
Primarily when you think of fat, you either think of food fats — saturates and the like — and White Fat, the kind your body stores. But not all fats are bad, not even those that build up inside your body. Brown Fat, or Brown Adipose Tissue, is a type of fat that, once activated, burns energy and produces heat. It is found in abundance in babies, helping to regulate their temperature, but reduces in quantity as we grow. It does, however, still exist with your body in small quantities.
If you can get your Brown Fat working, it will increase your internal body temperature and help you feel naturally warmer. So, how do you achieve warmth through Brown Fat?
- Balance: Too much dieting can cause your body to go into starvation mode, stopping White Fat turning to Brown Fat. Too much food and your body will start reserving the White Fat in large quantities, meaning you have no need to activate the Brown Fats either. Achieving a strong balance of diet and exercise will kick-start your body in activating its Brown Fat reserves.
- Apples: The acids in apple have been shown to increase the quantity of Brown Fat in your system.
- Sleep: Good rest inspires harmony in the body and results in the release of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is thought to be essential in the production of Brown Fat.
- Adjust: If you’re warm most of the time, your body does not need to activate Brown Fat to regulate temperature. Give your body time to adjust to the cold weather by keeping the thermostat low for a few weeks and your internal heating system will kick in!
Become a Master of Scandinavian Hygge
Hygge is a word without English translation.
It is a part of Scandinavian culture that encompasses all things warm and content. It is the very art of being cosy. Practicing the hygge means different things to different people, but it often includes warm blankets, thick socks, hot drinks, an assortment of burning candles or fireplace and a good read. Imagine a holiday in a cosy wooden cabin in the Alps or Danish wilderness, sitting by the fireside as logs burn, bundled up in a knitted jumper. The idea is to promote wellness and warmth in the freezing Scandinavian climates, but the concept is transferable anywhere.
Follow the tenets of hygge and experience staying warm for yourself.
Remember: these ideas are meant to help you warm up during the cold winter season, but when winter is really biting, there can be no replacement for a bit of good old-fashioned central. Staying warm, healthy and safe! It’s a good idea to check your central heating is working before winter rolls around, to make sure you’re ready for when the thermometer hits zero.