Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. But since we have to go, how do you deal, how do you deal with the snow?

Regardless of my butchering of a classic Christmas song, the weather in the Northern Hemisphere is freezing at the moment. Unfortunately, life can’t be put on hold during the winter (doesn’t hibernation sound amazing right now?) and sometimes you have to brave the cold temperatures. But just because you have to venture outside doesn’t mean you have to freeze your butt off. Check out some of these handy hints to stay warm outside this winter.

1. Wear Layers

Wear several layers of clothing and peel them off if you start to get too hot. The heat captured in between the layers keeps you nice and toasty. I would personally recommend thermal underwear too. Sure, they’re kind of dorky, but nobody has to see them and they they’re surprisingly toasty despite their thin appearance. I chalk this up to to either science or witchcraft.

2. Protect Your Core

Keeping your torso insulated is the smartest thing you can do to keep the rest of your body warm during winter. This is because the average core temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and hypothermia sets in when that temperature dips below 95. There’s a reason why people firstly lose fingers, toes and other extremities to frostbite before anything else. It’s their body’s natural form of self-preservation. It stops sending blood out to these areas in favor of protecting vital organs. So weirdly, the most effective way of keeping your fingers and toes warm, and attached to you, is by keeping your core toasty.

3. Wear Mittens Instead of Gloves

Despite your core needing to be a priority, you still need to cover up your digits in order to avoid frostbite. Strangely, mittens are actually more effective at keeping your hands and fingers warm than gloves. This is because clustering the fingers together ensures production of more insulating body heat. So if you don’t mind a little less mobility, get on the mitten train.

4. Invest in Good Boots

Decent boots are imperative in order to stay warm, and to prevent frostbite if you’re shoes are going to be getting wet. Some of the best options are double boots, which contain a felt inner liner and a high-top outer boot. They’re warm and comfortable, but quite expensive.  A cheaper option may be a rugged mountaineering boot. It has similar benefits of the double boot, but for a lower price. Foam-insulated rubber boots will keep your feet warm, but will also make them perspire. This can be an issue, as we shall discover in our next tip.

5. Stay Dry

This may seems obvious, but the cold has a stealthy way of sneaking up on you, particularly if you’re exposing yourself to puddles, snow slush or even sweating beneath the aforementioned layers. One way to avoid the latter in particular is by investing in synthetic, wicker based layers that pull the sweat right off your skin. If you happen to get wet externally, get inside and dry off as soon as possible.

6. Eat Spicy Food

We all crave hot food or drinks in cold weather, but not many of them do much to actually keep us warm. However, spicy food will do the job effectively. Foods like chili peppers and spicy seasonings contain a compound called capsaicin, which is what gives them that delicious kick. More importantly, however, is that it increases our body temperature, creating a warming effect. So try adding a little chili to your soup, curries or even hot chocolate (Chocolat tells us that it’s delicious) this winter to fight off the cold.

7. Drink More Water

All seasoned mountain climbers attest to the fact that water is a fantastic way to retain body heat.The more you have in your system the easier it is to keep warm. With this in mind, make sure you stay hydrated in the winter, as well as the summer, particularly if you have to go out into the cold everyday.

Featured photo credit: gagilas via photopin cc

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