Winter is a wonderful time of year for almost any person, filled with holidays and fun, but freezing temperatures can make it harsh to even step outside.
Specially if you are in need.
Even if you’re in the coldest climates, you can easily find ways to stay warm and cozy indoors or outside.
By wearing the right clothes and maintaining your home’s temperature, you’ll be nice and toasty throughout the season.
1. Wrap up warm
Dress in layers and wear a hat, gloves and scarf. Clothes made from wool, cotton or fleecy fabrics are warmest. When you're indoors, wear warm socks and slippers to keep your feet cosy.
2. Keep the cold out
Close doors and use a keyhole cover to block draughts. Buy thermal linings for curtains to keep the heat in.
3. Don't use alcohol to keep warm
Avoid drinking alcohol before going, or when, outside. It makes you feel warm because blood vessels in the skin expand, but this draws heat away from your vital organs.
- Read about the effects of alcohol on your heart
4. Check your heating
Have your heating system serviced regularly to make sure it works well.
5. Maintain the temperature
Keep your main living room at 18–21°C (64–70°F) and the rest of your house at 16°C (61°F) at least. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep. In bed, use either a hot water bottle or an electric blanket.
6. Have warming food and drinks
Have regular hot drinks and food such as porridge, soups and stews. Visit our recipe finder to get more ideas for warming, healthy dishes.
- Try our 14 delicious heart-healthy porridge ideas
- Read our 5 top tips for healthy eating this winter
7. Stay active
Keep as active as possible to boost your circulation. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods. Even light exercise will help keep you warm. When you do sit down, put your feet up as it’s coldest nearest the ground.
8. Check what support you can get
Don’t miss out on benefits. Depending on your circumstances you may get the Winter Fuel or Cold Weather Payments automatically. If you don't, visit gov.uk/winter-fuel-payment or call 03459 15 15 15 to see if you’re eligible.
You may also be entitled to claim an Affordable Warmth Grant, which could help with heating and insulation improvements. For more information, call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234 or visit gov.uk/energy-company-obligation.
- 1Limit the time you go outdoors. If you’re too cold, avoid going outside unless you absolutely have to. When you do go outside, walk quickly so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the cold. Stay in the sun while you are outside to naturally stay warm.
- If you’re playing or working outside and the weather is below freezing, take inside breaks every 15-30 minutes to warm up again.
- 2Move around. When you feel yourself getting cold, pick up your pace and start moving. Your body temperature will rise while you’re active. Limit taking long breaks to avoid cooling down. Stay at a comfortable pace so you don’t sweat, since it could make you colder.
- 3Layer your clothes. Use cotton, wool, or fleece long-sleeved clothing since these materials work the best at maintaining body heat. Find slim-fitting clothes for your underlayer if you don’t want to look bulky. Two or three layers work fine depending on the temperature, but the more layers you wear, the warmer you’ll stay.
- The air between your layers of clothes holds heat and helps keep you warm.
- Use a pair of long underwear, or long johns, as your base layer. Many pairs are meant to dry quickly in case you get them wet with snow or slush.
- Flannel shirts are soft, thick, and stylish to wear while trying to stay warm.
• T-shirt, flannel shirt, down vest
• Undershirt, wool sweater
• Shirt, cashmere cardigan, down coat
- 4Wear a hat to keep in body heat. Find a knit or wool hat that fits over your ears to prevent any body heat from escaping through your head. For extra warmth, wear hats with a fur or synthetic fur lining. Keep hats on when you go outdoors, especially if the temperatures are below 32 °F (0 °C), so you don’t get frostbite.
- If your scalp is cold, your core temperature will drop faster than it normally would.
- 6Bundle up in a large coat when you go outside. Put on a coat lined with wool or down that’s made for handling cold temperatures. Zip the coat all the way up to keep your core warm. The coat will protect you from the wind and elements whenever you’re outside.
- Wear a water-resistant coat if it’s wet or you plan on playing or working in the snow. That way, your clothes won’t stay wet while you’re outside.
- 7Keep your hands warm with gloves. Wear gloves with a fleece or wool liner to keep your hands warm and to prevent them from drying out. If you plan on being active in the snow, find gloves made of a waterproof material so your hands don’t get wet. If you want to be able to use your phone, make sure you get ones that work with a touchscreen.
- Mittens will keep your hands warmer, but you’ll have more limited dexterity.
- If you don’t have gloves, keep your hands in your coat pockets as much as you can.
- Wear boots and wool socks if you plan on going outside for a long time. Wool socks and insulated boots will help keep your feet warm and prevent them from getting wet from snow or slush. Boots also have thick, non-slip soles so you’re less likely to slip and fall. Leave your boots near a heat source in your home at night to let them dry for the next time you use them.
- Always bring a backup pair of shoes so you don’t have to wear boots all day.
- Find socks that are moisture-wicking so they stay drier. If you have wet feet, you’ll get cold.
Dress in layers
You know to add a sweater, jacket, and other layers when you go outside. However, you can apply the same principles inside, too, when you're trying to warm up. Layers will insulate your body and make it easier to regulate your body temperature by adding or removing layers.
Wear thick socks or slippers.
Keeping your feet warm will make your whole body feel warmer. For an extra-cozy feel, slip on a pair of ultra-warm wool stocks.
Use the oven and stove for cooking
The oven and stove both heat up a kitchen, which is why it's always advised during the summer months to make no-cook dinners or to use the grill more often. In the winter months, the opposite advice applies: Use the stove and oven to heat up the home.
Leave the oven open after you bake
This will allow the warm air to escape into the room. For safety purposes, though, only do this if you don't have any small children or pets in the house.
Enjoy a cup of soup
Warm yourself up from the outside in with a hot bowl of soup for lunch or dinner. Get a double-whammy of heat by also making the soup from scratch and allowing it to simmer on the stove.
Drink warm beverages
Use the same principles of warming up from the outside-in when it comes to the beverages you choose. Keep coffee, tea, cider, and hot cocoa on hand for a hot drink, no matter what the time of day.
Use a humidifier
Humid air feels quite a bit warmer than dry air. To avoid mold, set your humidifier to 40 percent humidity. Look for ultrasonic models that allow you to choose between warm and cold air. They cost more but are well worth it for the heating ability.
Reverse the ceiling fans
You want them to be turning at low speed in a clockwise direction during the winter months. This will help to push the warm air back down to the ground.
Use microwaveable heating pads
Microwave your heating pads for 30 seconds to heat them up and put them on your hands and feet when you're sitting or lying down. You can make them yourself by sewing dried beans inside a piece of 100-percent cotton fabric. Here's a free heating pad pattern you can use.
Make sure heat vents, registers, and radiators are free of obstructions.
If they're covered with furniture, the warm air won't reach you.
Don't run the bathroom fan after you shower
The humidity will make the house feel warmer. Leave the bathroom door open after your shower, so that humidity spreads to other parts of your home.
Spend more time upstairs
Hot air rises. Therefore, during the winter, set up shop on the second floor of your home—if you have one—to take advantage of that warmer air.
Do something active
There are so many ways to get your body temperature up by being active—lean the house, exercise, tackle a home repair, or play a game. Just find ways to keep yourself moving, so you generate more body heat.