Tips for staying safe and warm this winter
Wrap up warm: Warm clothing, especially when it’s layered, not only prevents exposure, it also helps retain body heat.
Wear a warm hat and thick socks. We lose most of our body heat through our head, hand and feet, so wear a warm hat and thick socks. Layer your clothing; long underwear is thin, so it fits easily under most everyday clothing, including jeans and shirt. Bundle up with a fleece or a woollen sweater for extra warmth.
Wear comfortable pyjamas, thick socks and heavy clothing while you are inside.
Stay active: Regular exercise will make you feel more energetic, which should make it a little easier to get out of your warm bed on cold, dark mornings.Your body’s defences will also benefit. If the shorter days are affecting your mood, being active can improve your sense of wellbeing.
You may be tempted to eat more during the colder months. Exercising will also help you manage your weight better and keep your body in shape. If you’re exercising after dark, keep to well-lit areas and wear bright and reflective clothing. Ideally, exercise with a friend, but always tell someone where you are going.
If rain or ice is making exercise dangerous, do it another day. The weather might be better tomorrow, but an injury could take weeks to heal.
Hot water bottle: “India rubber” hot water bottles were in use in Britain by 1875. Modern conventional hot water bottles were patented in 1903. They are now commonly covered in fabric, sometimes with a novelty design.
By the late 20th century, the use of hot water bottles had markedly declined around most of the world. Not only were homes better heated, but newer items such as electric blankets were competing with hot water bottles as a source of night-time heat. However the hot water bottle remains a popular alternative, it is widely used in Chile. There has been a recent surge in popularity in Japan too, where it is seen as an ecologically friendly and thrifty way to keep warm.
Water retains heat for a long time, making hot water bottles an affordable and effective way to stay warm.
Keep out the cold: Close doors and use a keyhole cover to block draughts. Buy thermal linings for curtains to keep the heat in. Have your heating system serviced regularly to make sure it works well.
Keep your main living room at 18 – 21°C
(64 – 70°F) and the rest of your house at 16°C (61°F) at least. If you can’t heat all the rooms you use, heat the living room during the day and the bedroom just before you go to sleep. In bed, use either
a hot water bottle or an electric blanket.