Main content

10 ways to warm up on a cold day

Who’s feeling chilly? The cold months are well and truly here and that means plummeting temperatures, bitter winds, and the usual struggle to stay warm. You and Yours has been looking at how fleeces are now high fashion and other ways to keep warm this winter. We have come up with some ingenious ideas for how to keep warm this winter – efforts that don’t have to cost the earth. Warm the body, and the soul, with these hot tips for staying toasty.

1. Keep a blanket nearby

It might sound obvious, but a blanket is a great way to stay warm at home. Put a nice thick one on top of your duvet for an added layer of warmth at night, and keep one by the sofa so you can hunker down under it when you’re watching the box. The key here is the right blanket – too synthetic and you’ll be a sweaty mess. But a good quality, wool blanket doesn’t need to break the bank. Scour your local charity shop or car boot sale and you’ll be sure to find a wonderful woolly one to keep you company this winter.

2. Use a hot water bottle (and not just at night)

Hot water bottles don’t have to be held in reserve for bedtime. Fill your rubbery friend with hot water and take it to the sofa, use it to warm your car seat before you head to work, zip it up inside your coat on a long walk, or sit it on your lap in the office. You’ll have a warm glow wherever you go.

3. Indulge in a luxurious hot chocolate

Quaffing a hot beverage is a top tip for staying warm because they raise your core temperature, heating you up from the inside out. (Don’t make your hot drink too hot however. If it’s hot enough to make you sweat you’ll lose all the heat you’ve just gained!) Cheer yourself up on a dreary day by indulging in a hot chocolate with whipped cream, marshmallows, honeycomb sprinkles and a caramel drizzle. Winter does have some benefits.

4. Feast on fatty foods

There’s another good reason to add double cream to your hot chocolate. We can fuel our body’s inner furnace by eating fatty foods. Our body uses energy to digest food, which makes us feel warmer, and because fat takes longer to metabolise it helps keep us warm for longer. Slather that toast with butter, crack open a packet of peanuts and have a go on an avocado!

Is this the ultimate hot chocolate?

Tips on how to make the best hot chocolate.

Ginger, lemon and honey in hot water is an excellent soother for sore throats.

5. Gorge on ginger

Root ginger is a stimulating food that increases circulation, raising our body temperature and helping to get warm blood to those cold extremities. Grate some ginger into hot water and lemon, chuck chunks in your stir-fry, or bake some ginger bread. If you really can’t stand the spice then there are other foods that can help to get the blood flowing: cayenne pepper, garlic and goji berries are all our friends in cold weather.

6. Use draft excluders

A simple way to stay snug and cosy at home is to plug that draft under your door with a draft excluder. These can be picked up for a just a few pounds, or, if you’re a dab hand on the sewing machine, try sewing your own. Other simple measures for keeping the cold air out and the heat in include keyhole covers and thermal linings on your curtains.

Your body goes through a dormant cycle in winter

Why we should all make time to be more idle in winter.

7. Try hot yoga

Hot yoga takes place in a room heated to a high temperature, which typically leads to profuse sweating. Perspiring in a room with a bunch of strangers might not sound that appealing (if you live in London and commute on the Underground you’ll almost certainly feel like you’re getting your fair share of that already) but, not only will it warm you up on a cold day, it will also increase your circulation – so you’ll feel warmer for longer. Not to mention centred, energised and very well stretched. And it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Lots of yoga centres will offer a month’s free trial or reduced rates for newbies, so shop about.

8. Use the oven

Wholesome, home-cooked food undoubtedly warms the cockles. But using the oven for stews and baking has an additional benefit. When you’ve finished using the cooker, turn it off and (if you don’t have pets or small children around) leave the oven door open. This will allow the warm air to escape into the room.

9. Embrace the DIY

With the uninviting weather outside, winter is a great time to get all those odd jobs done around the house. Clear out the loft; paint the skirting boards; finally get that picture hung on the wall. By keeping yourself moving, sanding floors and hopping up and down ladders, you generate more body heat. And you’ll have a wonderful sense of achievement to boot.

10. Stop shaving

OK, so this will require a certain level of commitment and time… Facial hair doesn’t just help you fit in with the hipsters, it also has an extremely practical benefit: a beard protects the face from inclement weather - wind, rain, snow and hail. In fact, letting hair grow freely anywhere on your body provides an extra layer of insulation for keeping you cosy and warm. Throw that razor away and get growing!

Weird tricks to improve your Yorkshire puddings

Advice on perking up your Yorkshire puds.

Bernard can't grow a beard so he's found this hat.