If you’ve been outside in any part of northern America over the last few days, you know it’s pretty dang cold. Temperatures in New York City, for example, are down in the teens and twenties, and with the icy blasts of wind, the air feels even colder. The rest of the country is not faring much better, and poor Canada is experiencing an extreme cold warning that may plunge its temperatures to -40 Fahrenheit with wind chill. Luckily, we’ve got some great hacks to help you stay warm this chilly winter. And for more ways to make the most of this frigid time of year, don’t miss the 25 Surefire Ways to Beat the Winter Blues.
Use a plant pot to create a makeshift room heater.
Put a dish on a heat-proof mat, then place some candles on it, light them up, and put a grill over them. Then, put a few empty plant pots on top, using a penny to cover the hole. You can see how it’s done here.
Use ice to trick the thermostat.
If you live or work in a room where you can’t regulate the thermostat, you can trick it into raising the temperature by putting ice on top of it! Just make sure you put something that won’t melt (like a popsicle that’s still in its wrapper), because otherwise you can get water into thermostat and cause it to break.
Run the Ceiling Fan in Reverse
This will help warm air near the ceiling circulate to the ground below.
Open up the curtains when the sun is out.
This will help warm up the floors, if only a little bit.
Turn on the oven.
Kind of an obvious one, but people forget that your oven can be used for more than just cooking. Though if you stick a roast chicken in there for a few hours, you get the bonus benefit of making your house smell delicious.
Warm up your clothing before you leave.
Once you decide what you’re going to wear, you can heat the clothing up with a hot water bottle or an electric blanket while you get ready. Even a hairdryer will work. Or, you can buy some actual battery-powered electric clothing to keep you nice and toasty all day long.
Always wear a hat.
This one should be obvious, but it’s amazing how many people think a scarf and gloves is enough. As the Harvard Health Letter explained, you can lose up to 50 percent of your body heat if your head is uncovered. What’s more, that can trigger blood vessel constriction in other parts of the body, thereby causing your feet and hands to be cold too.
Run a hot bath.
Obviously, taking a hot shower or, better yet, a hot bath will raise your body temperature. But try not draining the tub afterwards for a while. The hot water will insulate your apartment, not to mention humidify the dry air.
Much as you might want to wrap your hands around a nice warp cup of joe, certified climbing guide and Alpine Endeavors director Marty Molitoris told Buzzfeed that it’s best to avoid caffeinated beverages and nicotine, as they actually cause your vessels to constrict, which limits blood flow.
Eat, eat, eat.
Staying full when it’s cold is important, because your body creates heat when it burns calories. According to some studies, a diet heavy in fat will keep you warmer since it burns more calories, but spicy food works to raise your body temperature as well. Fresh ginger root has long been proven to help your blood flow, so that’s a good one to snack on too.
Water is scientifically proven to retain heat, so stay plenty hydrated.
Did you know that you actually burn more calories when you exercise in the cold? It’s all thanks to thermogenesis, aka the process of your body trying to keep you warm. In addition to burning more calories, doing a little light exercise when you’re outside can really raise your body temperature. Try jogging to work instead of walking, or doing jumping jacks if you’re standing outside. It might feel silly, but you’ll be the one laughing when you’re all nice and warm. And if you need tips on getting yourself to work out, check out the 11 Ways Smart People Motivate Themselves to Go to the Gym.
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