How to Beat the Winter Chill

Your guide to a cozy winter experience.



(Alliance Images /

Almost everything about winter is perfect: the pristine snow and shining ice crystals, the winter sports — skiing, sledding, and skating, getting cozy in front of a fireplace while sipping hot chocolate. Nearly everything about the winter is ideal. Everything, except the cold. But maybe there’s a way to have your hot chocolate and drink it too. What can people do to enjoy winter sports and the beautiful season while staying comfortably warm?

Dress for the weather
The Outside Online blog suggests that, “you are what you wear,” when it comes to staying warm outside when the weather gets cold. Look for a coat that is thick, bulky, and puffy, because this will keep the warm air trapped near your body. Also, make sure that the coat is windproof, or wear a windproof layer on top (to test if something can resist the cold winds look for a jacket that can’t be “breathed” through if put over the mouth). Also, because hot air rises, the best coats are ones that are extra long, 

Remember, coats are only one part of the winter wardrobe. Hats, scarves, and gloves are essential for keeping that warm air contained. An easy way to keep boots insulated (since they come in direct contact with the frigid, snowy ground), is by adding warm, woolen insoles.

Keep up the healthy habits
Eating healthy, drinking sufficient amounts of water, and staying active are essential for overall health and wellbeing, but keeping up these habits in the winter can also help with heat maintenance, Bolt Blog explains.

The body uses water to regulate its temperature and requires healthy, nourishing food to keep up energy levels. In fact, American Sports and Fitness Association explains that the body burns more calories when exposed to freezing temperatures, both thanks to the muscle contractions that cause shivering and due to other metabolic processes in the body designed to keep people warm. That means that fueling the body with healthy fats and complex carbohydrates gives it the energy it needs to stay warm.

Lastly, whereas exercise is vital for overall health, even in the summer, in the winter this healthy habit can actually keep the shivers away. Moving the body keeps the blood pumping, activates the muscles, and generates heat.

Mind over matter
CNN suggests, the secret to staying warm in the cold may be changing one's mindset. Those who live in very cold regions may want to teach their brains new ways to regard the sensation of “coldness,” by gradually lowering their home thermostat, and replacing expensive heating with a sweater. 

Or, turn the cold into a positive sensation, by cuddling up with a friend or family member. Sharing body heat with someone else keeps both people toast warm and allows the brain to form positive associations with winter

Home improvements
When it comes to staying warm inside in the winter, there are alternatives to turning on the heat. Opening the windows during the daytime, when it’s sunny out, provides natural heating.

Another option is winter proofing, by sealing up any window or door cracks that can let chilly drafts into the house, as well as keeping internal doors closed to stop heat from leaving the room that people are in. Rugs and carpets can insulate floors, and turning on ceiling fans clockwise can push warm air down.

There are many ways to make the most of the season, when Old Man Winter first makes his presence known. Despite the chilly winds, falling snow, ice, cold, and clouds, there are ways to stay warm both indoors and outdoors, and take full advantage of everything that winter has to offer, without giving in to the shivers.

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