Staying Warm During Winter Times
When I dive under the blankets at the end of the day, I quickly snuggle up to my partner to warm up my feet and hands. It is often the extremities that bear the brunt of the colder winter months. This is not merely a typically female thing; surely most men are not resistant to temperatures below -15.
Undertaking external changes such as cranking up the heat and wearing extra clothes often just doesn’t shake that winter chill. The chills can often be better resolved from the inside out in the following ways:
Eating frequent smaller meals
When it is very cold your body craves more high calorie dense food to keep warm. With shorter days and longer nights it is easy to get into hibernation mode and put on extra weight. To avoid feeling cold and putting on weight, eat healthy snacks that fuel your body’s heat mechanism. Every time we eat our internal thermostat is switched on, increasing heat in the body. Snacks helpful to include in your diet for example include a nice hot homemade apple cider, hot dark chocolate ginger drink, warm dutch apple pie smoothie, a bowl of soup or a slice of rye bread with creamy nutbutter. Focusing on warming and soothing foods in the form of soups and stews might also be beneficial. Make sure to add high quality protein, nourishing carbs and healthy fats. Especially omega 3 fats can be contribute to a positive mood during the darker winter months. Also don’t forget to add warming herbs to your dishes such as black pepper, ginger, cardamom, cumin, cayenne and nutmeg which might increase circulation as well.
It is definitely harder to go for that bike ride or jog when the wind is about to blow off your hair and you can barely keep your eyes open due to freezing temperatures. So find other ways to stay active. Roll out your exercise mat and do some push ups at home or some sun salutations to bring circulation back to the body. If you have a gym membership, walk or jog on a treadmill or find a stationary bike. Exercise brings back oxygen to the muscles and keeps the body in tone during winter. Plus exercise gives you that nice serotonin surge, great for avoiding the winter blues.
Wet sock protocol
Wearing wet socks to bed with warm dry woollen socks over top probably doesn’t sound too appealing. However, it might greatly improve circulation and lymphatic drainage in the lower extremities. Woollen socks trap the air, making it impossible to dry the cold wet socks. Instead your body has to work to both warm and dry your feet by sending blood flow to the feet. The wet sock protocol is also an excellent way to clear congestion, swelling or inflammation as lymph fluid is being drained when the body attempts to dry the feet. Simply soak a cotton pair of socks under water (cold or warm), wring them out and put them on. Wear a pair of wool socks overtop and go to bed. In the morning the socks will be dry and you have given your body a nice circulatory boost.
Consuming about 2 cups of fresh orange juice before going into the cold may help keep you warm according to studies done. Phytonutrients found in citrus fruits such as orange or grapefruit can help to increase blood flow to the hands and feet. The compound in charge is called hesperidin which supports good blood flow to the rest of the body other than the core. So dose up on your citrus fruit intake if you are outdoors for a long time and like to keep these hands and feet warm.
And last but not least: don’t forget to spend time with those who are dear to you to let you experience inner warmness. Visit friends, family or simply do one kind deed a day for strangers to transfer positive energy on to others.
As for my hands and feet, they are not nearly the ice cubes they used to be. What is certain however is that the warmer my feet feel, the colder my partner’s are!