Sunshine has disappeared and the leaves have fallen off the trees – it has become clear that winter is definitely closing in. Strange as it might sound, but it can be the very best season for magnificent outdoor adventures: racing down the hill on a sled, running through fresh snow with your dog, having a snowball fight with your kiddo, and waving your arms and legs about to create the famous snow angel. The freshly falling snow releases the inner child in all of us. And no one is judging.
However, when the temperatures begin to drop in the coming weeks, it’s crucial to know how to beat the cold for your overall health and wellbeing. Instead of just hiding away for the next few months at home waiting for the snow to melt, follow these tips on how to stay warm and enjoy all that winter has to offer.
Learn to layer
What if someone invented super warm and comfortable clothes you could wear inside as sleepwear… but also be able to like run out and grab the mail or wear them while building a snowman? Oh wait, they already exist. And they are so-called layers. As the winter’s weather can change quickly, the key to staying warm is, ironically, not getting too warm. Therefore, the multi-layer system is great because it gives you the flexibility to add or remove apparel, depending on varying conditions and your activity intensity.
A good rule of thumb is to dress in three main layers to ensure you’re correctly equipped for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. In general, the three main layers are wicking, insulating, and weather protection. Usually made from antibacterial Merino wool, the base layer is worn next to the skin to wick moisture away from the body toward the outer layers of clothing. And the cherry on top is, you can wear this piece by itself during the warmer months.
Ok, you’re wearing the wicking apparel, but you still need the middle layer that will bring an extra touch of warmth and will keep your body heat at a comfortable temperature. Luckily, you’ve plenty of options to choose from: Merino wool sweaters, sweatshirts, vests, and pullovers. But keep in mind, the thicker the layer is the greater its heat-retaining ability. Now when you’ve your first two layers, the outer one comes when you need to add rain or wind protection. This will help to keep all those layers on the inside nice and dry. If you’re anticipating a lot of rain or snow, a waterproof shell is a way to go.
With a base, mid and outer layer, you will be ready for anything, much more than if you simply wore a coat and snow pants. Plus, your layering piece will work for all four seasons, which will save you from buying a coat for every condition.
Protect your extremities
We’re all guilty of it as kids. And, it makes no logical sense – we never wore hats and we rarely wore gloves, but you know what? Keeping those extremities covered will help to keep you warm. Perhaps the most popular of all head warming gear is the beanie, also known as a knit hat or knit cap. Find a hat that fits over your ears to prevent anybody heat from escaping through your head. But don’t be mistaken: not all beanies are created equally. The best winter hats offer uncompromising fabric, high quality, and crucial warmth. However, if you’re not a hat-person, then you can’t go wrong with a basic sports headband – it will protect your ears and head too.
Are you an enthusiast that stays active in the winter? If most of your weekends are spent going hiking, cross-country skiing, or winter camping, you will also need a neck gaiter that can adapt to the changes in temperature, the perspiration level, and the type of winter activity you are practicing. Amazingly, the protecting piece keeps your mouth covered since the heat from your breath will help your face stay warm. So, armed with the amazing winter accessories – beanie hats, gloves, scarves, gaiters – you’ll definitely tell that snow and sleet who’s the boss.
Staying warm during winter requires more than appropriate dressing (your layers are just there to keep the heat close to you). Yeah, we know it’s easy to cuddle up under a warm blanket all day, but try to resist the urge for at least an hour and do something active. Any kind of activity gets your circulation going and makes you feel warmer.
If you do find yourself getting cold outdoors, the single best strategy for rewarming is to increase your pace. Your body temperature will rise while you’re active. Try not to stay sitting down for long breaks, get up and move around a bit. Have nowhere to go? Crank out some jumping hacks or do a little dance, you can even wiggle your fingers and toes. Not only will it warm up you, it helps build and keep your muscles, which also burn calories and make body heat.
Wrap up inside
Spiced latte, tasty herbal tea, or hot chocolate – whatever your favorite hot beverage, it’ll be your savior in more ways than one when the temperature starts to drop. In case you didn’t know, you become dehydrated more quickly than you realize in cold weather. For this reason, you should drink frequently, since the water is good at retaining heat, so keeping your body pumped with it is an ideal opportunity to stay warm when you head outside. You can even add sugar to it for quick energy.
Note: not only the drink will warm your inside of the body, but the thermos will help to keep you warm on the outside too. Staying warm isn’t too tough though, especially with a nice mug of hot cocoa.
It’s winter, it’s cold, it’s not light enough. There’re plenty of reasons why people get a little ‘blah’ at this time of the year. However, staying warm no matter how frightful the cold weather gets may be easier than you think. Use these hot tips to warm the body and the soul – and no, you’ll not need to buy a new heating system.