Keep warm, keep costs down

November 23, 2008

Lowering the thermostat will help your bills, but you don’t want to get cold. If you want to increase your temperature generally, exercise can make a difference as it gives you a better blood flow to hands and feet. What you perceive as cold also depends on what you are used to. If you heat your home to a higher temperature than your neighbour you are always going to feel colder in their house, even though to them it may seem perfectly warm. A Canadian study found recently that mood can influence how hot or cold we feel and depression and loneliness make us more aware of the temperature. To stay warm, exercise, be more social and get enough sleep – and a big enough share of the duvet.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

** That big yeti like jumper may feel cosy, but you would do better with several thin layers, not one thick one.

** Bedsocks and a nightcap may seem like something from an old movie, but keeping your head and feet warm will pay dividends. Invest in a red santa hat and pretend Christmas has come early.

** Hot food, eaten regularly keeps your system stoked up and make sure you have plenty of carbohydrates as they provide long lasting heat sustenance. There is a reason stews and soups are so popular in winter, it’s not just their psychological effect, but the slow breakdown of those potatoes and pulses keep you warmer longer.

** Check your central heating thermostat and if it’s over 21C-24C then try reducing it to that optimum level.

** Alcohol and caffeine may seem like a good idea but they both increase blood flow to the skin, so you are actually losing heat.

** Keep moving as even small amounts of exercise will help. Don’t have the remote next to your chair, get up and walk a little – and make a cup of tea while you are up. to Avoid drinking too much of either if you’re trying to stay warm. Both

** Use your mind to make you warmer. If you are somewhere cold that you can’t control the temperature, just visualise somewhere hot and you will actually feel warmer. It works equally in reverse, so in summer imagine rubbing your feet on a nice cold ice floe – if there’s still one left.


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