10 ideas you may not have thought of for staying cosy this winter

Everyone knows that in winter, warmth equals happiness. So staying hot is staying happy. Here are 10 out of the ordinary ideas to help you achieve that.

By Alex Blackwood
I'm not going to tell you to put on a jacket, turn on a heater or use a hot water bottle (though I will mention that there is no shame in bringing one to work or on the bus). I won't tell you to get thicker curtains and I won't tell you to exercise because you already know all those ones and no one wants to exercise when it's cold.
What I will share with you are my sneaky "oh I didn't think of that" weird ways of staying hot. My "weird hot tips" if you will.
Here they are.
1. If you're cold go to the bathroom. Your body uses lots of energy heating up your bladder and the liquid in it so if you empty your bladder, your body can spend its energy heating you rather than that liquid. Science.
2. Get yourself a natural fibre blanket: try a merino throw or a goosedown duvet. They breathe easily so you won't wake up in the night sweaty and hot but they also keep you warm. You can often find good woollen blankets in op shops or on trade me.
If this article doesn't warm your body up, hopefully it will still warm your heart.
3. Make sure there's plenty of iron in your diet. A symptom of low iron is chills and being cold so if you're getting plenty of iron you'll find that you're less susceptible. Take a supplement if you need to, but spinach, kale, beans, lentils and (my favourite) red wine are all rich in iron.
4. Stay hydrated. When you've got plenty of water in your body it takes longer for the temperature of your core to change so once you're warm you'll stay warm. As well as that, your blood will be able to flow to your extremities easier so that the warmth can be distributed from warm parts to colder parts. This does conflict with tip number one but you'll find if you stay hydrated AND keep your bladder empty, you'll be a warmer, happier person.
5. Wear plenty of layers. This one is fairly obvious but if you wear plenty of layers of clothing the warm air will be trapped between them and you can take a couple layers off when you're somewhere warm without risking becoming too cold.
6. Stop drafts with a draft stopper… or a towel. Drafts are winds of cool air coming into your house to steal all the warmth. Seal the cracks under the door with a towel, a rag, a cat or whatever (just put it in front of the door so it blocks the gap beneath it) and you'll find it a lot easier to keep cosy.
7. When you're showering, turn the tap onto cold to improve your blood circulation. You can switch it back to warm afterwards, but that little boost of blood flow will help you stay toasty.
8. Keep your feet warm. Especially if your home is uncarpeted, it pays to keep your heat escaping through your feet. They have a large surface area to volume ratio and therefore lots of opportunity to lose your heat. Treat yourself to some woollen socks or, our personal favourite, sheepskin insoles (they turn every shoe into a deliciously warm slipper)!
9. Turn on the dehumidifier. When you're heating a damp room, you're using lots of energy to heat the excess water in that room. Get rid of it and you'll feel the difference.
10. Keep the oven open after you bake. The real key in this tip there is to bake. It's an activity that warms your soul as much as your body, so jot that down.