As winter beckons us once again, it is time to start planning ways to keep oneself warm without adversely pinching your wallet. Below are a few inexpensive ways that will go a long way in keeping you warm this winter.

1. Reduce Heating Bills:

Heating, can undoubtedly be the biggest cost to pinch you during this winter. But there are many common-sense approaches to ease the cost:

  • Add an extra layer of clothing while lowering the temperature on the thermostat heater.
  • Ensure that your footwear has rubber soles. Rubber is a bad conductor of heat and keeps your feet warm. Additionally it also prevents you from slipping on slippery roads during winter.
  • Shut tightly the doors and windows that are not in use.
  • Draw insulated curtains over your windows to seal drafts and prevent the heat loss within the room.
  • Leave the oven open after cooking, and let it fill up your kitchen with not just heat but also the sweet smell of food.

2. Increase Humidity:

Leave a bowl full of water in your bedroom overnight. That would increase the humidity in the room, and humidity (water) conducts heat away from the body ~25 times faster than dry air. Additionally, this would prevent your skin from getting dry thus cutting down on expensive cold creams and moisturizer.

3. Exercise More:

Physical activity helps in increasing the metabolic rate, and accelerates body heat production. Cardiovascular exercise increases the blood circulation in the body, while strength training will increase heat production in the muscles. All of this together helps in keeping you warm. Moreover, exercise increases serotonin production in the brain, which is an excellent natural, healthy, and inexpensive way of boosting your moods during the dreary winter months.

4. Cut Alcohol:

It is a myth that alcohol keeps you warm. Consumption of alcohol causes expansion of blood vessels in the skin, and impairs the body’s natural ability to regulate the temperature. It is true, that a swig of brandy gives you a brief sense of warmth. But that is because it causes blood to rush directly to the surface of the skin. This is not really helpful since it allows the cold to enter the body. Moral of the story… cut down on the alcohol, and you will not only feel warmer but also have some spare change in your wallet.

5. Take Cold Showers:

This may seem counter-intuitive, but cold showers help improve blood circulation, and that in turn helps to keep you warm. A hot shower, causes the blood to move towards the surface of the skin, giving you a fleeting sense of warmth, while cold water makes the blood rush back to your vital organs. The ideal method would be switching between hot and cold showers. However, that might seem too torturous for most people. A good compromise would be to start with a hot shower and gradually progress towards a cold shower. This would not shock your body, would cut down on the expenses of heating the water, and most importantly keep you warm.

6. Eat Whole Grains:

Whole grains (Wheat, Brown Rice, Oats, Quinoa, Barley, Millet) can give instant source of energy and fuel to keep you warm during the harsh winters. Whole grains are a great source of complex carbohydrates. They warm up the body, due to their quick digestion. Moreover, they are a source of vitamin B, magnesium and other nutrients that regulate the adrenal glands, which in turn regulates the body temperature and keeps you warm. In addition, stews and broths are easy to make and offer the warmth and comfort necessary to beat the winter blues.

7. Get Cozy:

Cuddling naked with your significant other (or a dog, if you are single) under a blanket will warm you up faster than a fleece sweater. Apart from being energy-efficient, there may be other added benefits as well. Have I missed out on your favorite ways to keep warm this winter? If yes, then please let me know about them in the comments. I would love to hear your suggestions :)

Featured photo credit:  Cute mutt wearing a vintage hat via Shutterstock

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