While we enjoyed sunny skies and warm days during October and into November, there is no doubt that winter is on the way and things are getting chilly.
Some people seem to spend even the coldest days in T-shirts and shorts claiming not to feel the wind whistle round their knees, but for most of us, keeping warm is key to keeping well and healthy until spring.
We have had a look at just how to do that.
First of all, go for layers. Rather than opting for one heavy jumper, go for cotton, wool or fleecy layers that will help you maintain and regulate your body heat depending not only on the temperature outside, but inside too.
Hat, gloves and scarves are a good idea when you are outside, and when you are inside, socks and slippers keep your feet warm and can prevent painful chilblains.
At home, it is a good idea to have your boiler checked, close your curtains to keep the warm in and if you have wooden floors, put a rug down to keep your toes toasty. It is also a good idea to fit draft excluders around your doors, windows and letterboxes as this can make a big difference if you want to keep cold drafts out.
When it comes to central heating, we suggest keeping your main living area at between 18–21°C and the rest of your home at 16°C, at least. We know costs are high, so consider heating your bathroom and bedroom just before you go to bed so it is snuggly and an electric blanket or hot water bottle can help you keep warm on the coldest of nights. Oh, and if you have been with your energy supplier for a while, it might pay to look around at what else is on offer and switch to save money and be warmer.
If it’s cold outside the last thing you will feel like doing is embracing the wind, but keeping active is vital for winter well-being. A brisk walk, jog in the park or bike ride will help you generate heat, keep warm and improve your circulation as well as your mood. Again, dress in layers because you may well work up a sweat and if you go with a friend, you are more likely to get out of the door so you don’t let them down.
Salads and smoothies might be the healthy option but hot drinks and warming food like soups and stews will get that internal central heating firing on all cylinders. Another great thing about cooking a meal is that the heat from your oven will release into your kitchen and warm up the room as you eat.
If you have pets, you will want to keep them warm too. Keep your cats and dogs inside at night and if you have rabbits, insulate their hutch with hay and place a blanket across the front to keep the wind and cold out. When you are walking your four-legged friend wear reflective clothing, give them an extra layer if needed and if they jump into cold water, don’t go in after them– call for help, don’t put your life at risk.
Whatever you do, stay warm and safe this winter.