How to keep warm in winter without breaking bank

Experts reveal a few tips and tricks on how to stay warm in the colder months of the year without having to pay more on your electricity bill.

Now that we are very well into the coldest months of the year you might find yourself cranking up the heater in an attempt at staying warm whilst inside, especially considering we'll be spending a lot more time indoors this winter...

But just because we have been forced into a lockdown, it doesn't mean we should be paying more to stay warm. So we've decided to compile a concise list of things to do and avoid in order to not break bank while trying to not freeze to death.

As simple as opening or closing your blinds!

The first helpful tip has to do with your curtains. Laura McGradie, group head of energy at the Energy Saving Trust believes that you should:

Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.

Ideally, you would install heavy, lined curtains as a way to create an insulating effect. However, the curtains themselves might be a little pricey so don't be afraid to get creative and exercise those DIY skills you have by using old blankets to do the trick.

Another heat-preserving technique involving curtains you can practice is to leave them open when the sun is shinning through, particularly in south-facing rooms if you can.

Watch what you eat and drink if you want to stay warmer

Dr. John Eric Smith, assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at Mississippi State University, recommends consuming:

harder-to-digest foods – that are higher in fat and have more protein – the body is going to have to work harder, which is going to increase the body’s temperature to [fuel] those metabolic processes.

And of course, soups and tea are especially comforting during colder times. Something you should avoid putting into your body if you plan on staying warm indoors is alcohol as the seemingly warming effect of a bit of whiskey is only temporary, reactionary and counterproductive.

When you imbibe, your blood vessels dilate which can account for the rosy-cheeked look on one's face that would make the person feel like they are heating up. When, in fact, you actually end up losing more heat as your body tries to cool itself down.

And finally when it comes to alcohol Dr Smith believes that:

[it is part of] the depressant family of drugs, so it’s going to make you more inactive and just kind of in that restful state, you may actually lose more heat from being stationary and not having as much metabolic activity.

Get up and move around!

Which bring us to our last point: stay active! If you are able to do a little bit of exercise this will make a huge difference in how cold or warm you feel at home. As you get your body moving, your blood is pumped around and this creates more circulation and more heat is, as a result, generated. But don't over do it because:

One thing that you have to be careful of is that, if you start sweating, you’re going to be losing your body heat faster and it will make you cold faster. So you need to find that happy balance between being physically active enough that you’re generating heat to stay warm, but not to the point that you’re going to sweat to try to cool down.
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