Winter Warming Circulation Boosting Habits
Cheap, effective ways to stay warm this winter!
The winter months can often bring with it the dreaded cold feelings such as poor circulation, cold hands and feet and a big increase in energy bills. There are many ways that you can assist in keeping yourself warm throughout the winter months, improving your circulation and not adding to your energy bill.
There are many culinary herbs that are classed as “warming” herbs that taste great but are also very beneficial in helping you stay warm during winter. These herbs include ginger, chilli, garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and turmeric and can assist with warming your body up and increasing circulation. A great way to utilise these herbs is in a slow cooker with dishes such as curries, stews and soups. Not only can you add your own spice level, they are generally quite easy to make and when you come home after a long day, the aroma of an already cooked dinner will be there to greet you. Using vegetables such as onion, garlic and carrots may also support the immune system if you or your family are feeling a little under the weather.
Hot drinks will assist circulation and warm you up almost instantly. Hold the mug in your hand to let the warmth warm your fingers. Chai tea uses many of the above listed herbs to further increase circulation and warming. Even a nice, warm lemon and honey drink will help you stay warm, and can also be used if you are unwell. Get creative with your drinks! Instead of making a plain hot chocolate why not add some chilli or cinnamon to further warm your body and boost your taste buds.
Investing in a wheat bag or heat pillow can help on those particularly cold winter nights, or if you are suffering with sore/stiff joints. Adding a few drops of essential oils such as lavender may assist in relaxing you and can be placed in the bed to warm it before you jump in. If your hands are particularly cold, or you need to be outside for extended periods of time, you can now purchase pocket sized hand warmers to keep your fingers nice and warm.
Outdoor exercise may be something we tend to shy away from in the cooler months, whether it be because it is darker earlier or just too hard to get out of bed earlier, but gentle exercise will increase your body’s circulation and warm you up. Exercise does not need to be fancy or always done in a gym. Pop on an exercise DVD or dust off the old treadmill/exercise bike and start with gentle exercise daily. If you are looking at getting out of the house check if your local pool is heated and has a sauna, so you can do some gentle swimming and warm your body up in a sauna. The sauna will aid circulation and in Scandinavian countries where sauna is part of their routine, they say it also boosts the immune system.
Dressing in layers
Rather than just wearing one, big, item of clothing dressing in many lighter layers provides more relief from the cold. Try a pair of stockings under your socks or a singlet under your shirt. Layers can be removed or increased easily when the temperature changes or you need to go outside etc. Wearing a beanie or hat will also help, as the head can let a lot of warmth escape the body. Keeping your feet and head warm will go a long way in making you stay warm. Remember the saying ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes’.