One of the most important winter safety tips is to keep yourself warm. Provided you have an indoor location to retreat to, it is fairly simple to maintain a safe body temperature even in the dead of winter. Avoid the cold this holiday season by observing some of the following ways to stay warm.

Heed the shivers. Shivering is more than just an annoying side effect of being cold. It forces your internal temperature to rise by burning calories, and it’s the first sign that you’ve gotten too cold and should warm up as soon as possible.

candy cane hot chocolate

Drink hot cocoa, and enjoy hot meals. Hot beverages such as coffee, tea, and hot chocolate not only radiate heat that warms your hands, but they also temporarily boost your core temperature. Hot meals and spicy foods do the same, and you will warm up your home just by cooking them.

Dress in layers. Heat is constantly being transferred between your body and the objects and surfaces you come into contact with. Liquid or gas molecules can also pick up your body heat as they move against you, like when you’re hit with a blast of icy air on a winter day. Layering your clothing minimizes both types of heat exchange by forming a thicker barrier between your skin and anything cooler than your body temperature.

Use rugs and warmer bedding. Placing rugs on bare flooring will prevent you from losing body heat to the floor. It’s also a good idea to keep spare blankets within easy reach and switch to bedclothes designed to retain heat more effectively once temperatures start to fall.

Take advantage of tried-and-true tricks. Old-fashioned hot water bottles or warmed-up bags of dried beans or rice are very inexpensive ways to stifle a chill long enough for you to fall asleep, and putting up tin foil behind radiators will reflect heat toward the center of the room.

Don’t shun the sun. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to allow sunlight to heat your home naturally, but close them as soon as the sun goes down to preserve that warmth for as long as possible.

home fire burning

Use your fireplace. There’s nothing cozier than warming up in front of a fire, and if you have a wood-burning fireplace, you can do so for as little as the cost of firewood. Also, consider investing in a chimney balloon to avoid heat escaping through the chimney when you’re not using the fireplace. Just don’t forget to take it out before you light a fire.

Keep doors closed. Ensure the space you actually use stays warm by shutting doors to rooms you don’t go in very often; there’s no need to keep them the same temperature as the rest of the house.

Winter can be one of the most enjoyable times of the year when you know how to keep the cold at bay. For additional winter weather safety tips, see our previous post on developing a winter emergency plan.

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