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5 Marvelous Ways To Beat The Winter Chill

5 Marvelous Ways To Beat The Winter Chill

Shivering is your body’s signal to you that you need to get somewhere warm. In a heartbeat. Your body shivers because it’s trying to tell you that your muscles aren’t contracting anymore, thereby ensuring your blood flow is decreasing.

This is bad news.

Luckily, there are a few handy and fun ways to maximize the joys of beating the winter chill. Let’s take a look!

1. Throw A Party

No, not that kind of party. Well, you can if you feel like it. But I mean a dinner party that involves a lot of baking. Baking when it’s cold out is a common trick (such as baking bread). But if you’re baking a lot of food for a dinner party (say, a casserole, followed by meat-loaf, etc.) you’re going to get a lot more mileage out of the oven’s heat.

An added bonus to this trick is good-ol’ science: The more people that are around you, the more you get to bask in the joys of their body warmth. This makes your home much cozier and warm.

An even bigger bonus to throwing a party is this: Being able to show off your brand-new curtains! A lot of people swear by hanging up thicker, denser curtains (like wool-cotton) on their windows to block out the cold. Just find some curtains that match your interior décor, hang them up, and presto! Instant serenity that doubles in its value.

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2. Dance

Like the Lady Gaga song says, “Just dance… Gonna be okay…” You’ll warm yourself up (and anybody with you) in no time if you pick a funky groove, and get your shake on. (Am I nerdy or what?)

Picking an up-tempo rock (or pop hit) song that you can move your feet to gets your heart up. Everybody knows that increasing your heart-rate is how you keep your heart healthy and young. It’s a good way to “take your breath away” and start breaking a sweat.

You could just as easily work out, with something as simple as jumping jacks or burpees! But I personally find dancing to be a lot less of a chore than working out. (Which says a lot about me, but hey… Who doesn’t like having fun?)

Now everybody’s personal dance songs differ, but I’d like to share with you some songs that never fail to “help you get up off your feet, and you’ll feel better.” (James Brown ftw!)

You can find all these songs on YouTube:

  • Coldplay – Charlie Brown
  • White Stripes – Hotel Yorba, Black Math, Fell In Love With A Girl, Forever For Her (Is Over For Me), The Air Near My Fingers, Effect And Cause. (There’s a lot more, but we’ll be here all day – I LOVE The White Stripes)
  • The Kinks – People Take Pictures, Johnny Thunder, Big Sky
  • Foster The People – Houdini, Pumped Up Kicks
  • Cheap Trick – Surrender
  • Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out

Those are just a few musical prompts you can load up on YouTube and help you work the floor to dance Winter’s chill away.

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3. The Wonders Of A Scalding-Hot Bath

After a strenuous workout, a lot of professional athletes soak in a scorching-hot bath for half an hour. This is because hot water “stretches out” muscles and nerves, preventing inflammation and fluid build-up in limbs.

(I do a round of HIIT each week and, trust me, I’ve seriously regretted the sessions I cut out the hot bath recovery in an effort to save time. It is THAT vital towards keeping your limbs as fresh and relaxed as they can be.)

Immersing yourself in a hot bath, even if you hardly work out, can feel like heaven.

Hot water naturally relaxes the body – this much we know already. That’s why so many overworked, grunting people look forward to a hot bath and glass of wine at the end of a hard day. Every one of us needs that type of peace of mind, right?

Plus, studies have shown diabetics who soak in a hot tub or hot bath every day reduce their sugar and glucose levels! This is incredible news that has many advantages for thousands of diabetics everywhere.

If that weren’t awesome enough, hot baths even help you lose weight. People discovered that soaking in hot baths for half an hour each day of the week helped them shed almost 2 ½ lbs. in one month. (So, if you’re already working the circuits, CrossFit, or HIIT rounds – which significantly burn up enough calories – by soaking in a hot bath you’re turning your metabolism into a fat-burning machine!)

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However, because your body temperature raises and your body will dehydrate, it is highly recommended that you take a glass of cold water with you. Staying hydrated during the day is important, and not just because it gets oxygen to your cells, lubricates your joints, and cleanses toxins from your body.

With all the benefits we know about a hot bath, it’s time to tackle something that’s FUN. Something that’s amazing (and relaxing) when it comes to hot water…

4. Hot Hot Tubs

You should know, right off the bat, that two-person hot tubs will usually set you back $1500-3000, for starters. For models that seat 5-7 people, you’re looking at $3000-8000. So, these babies are not for the faint of heart, or weekend hobbyists who are game for a soak every now and then. Even building an extra wooden deck to house the tub can set you back $500+, for starters.

Hot tubs are a lot better than hot baths and even more relaxing. They are for serious people who are serious about treating their many aches, pains, and physical disorders.

If money is no problem for you, then hot tubs are a GREAT investment. Everyone I know wants a hot tub – and we’re all secretly jealous of people who do have one.

5. Make Love (Adults Only)

Sweet, unbridled passion with your loved one. Is there anything better? I can’t think of any, especially during the winter. This isn’t a time to blush or feel embarrassed, as rolling around in the covers and exploring your lover’s body is one of the best ways to warm up. (Obviously!)

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There’s a two-fold light of enjoyment here, too. Once you’ve successfully heated each other up, turning each other into a sweaty mess, sleep is right around the corner. Falling into the arms of another is a serenity few people savor.

Which doesn’t make sense, since falling asleep lowers your body temperature. Scientifically-speaking, your lowered body temperature will combat the cold. (Plus you won’t actually be awake to feel the cold.)

Conclusion

And there we have it! 5 ways to make sure the winter freeze stays out of your home.

These are just a few ways to keep yourself from being beaten by the cold. Do you have any other suggestions?

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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Maya Levine

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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