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Tips on how to keep warm in winter

1st April 2024

During the winter, there are normally a number of cold nights, frosty mornings and sub-zero temperatures. For many, including those who rely on a mobility aid like a stairlift, keeping warm can be a struggle.

Heating a home can be expensive, and when living alone, it may feel a little unnecessary to heat the home just for you. Getting older comes with changes, including the ability to regulate our body temperature.

This guide shares tips on how to keep warm in winter, so read on to discover some helpful advice.

How to stay warm in winter?

  • Layer up
  • Use a hot water bottle and keep cosy
  • Exercise and keep moving
  • Tips for how to keep your house warm in the winter
  • Check your heating and boiler
  • Eat well
  • Check weather forecasts

Layer up

One of the most important things to remember in winter and when the temperatures get a little colder is to take care of yourself by wrapping up warm in multiple layers. Wearing warm winter clothing and extra layers can make a big difference, and there are a few ways to add warmth to your outfit:

  • Thermal layering – buying thermal tops and bottoms to place underneath your outfit can keep your body warm.
  • Wear tights – adding tights to any outfit can act as a barrier to prevent heat escaping.
  • Think about materials – make sure you are wearing warm winter clothing, such as thick materials and knitwear.
  • Get the right outerwear – when heading outside, it is essential you have the right clothes. Make sure you wrap up with coats, scarves, hats and gloves.

Shelley Whittaker, the blogger at Wander and Luxe, highly recommends wearing layers and explains a bit about the resources she uses: “For me, it is all about layering my clothing in winter to ensure I stay warm.

“I opt for thermal socks and a thermal vest to keep the important body parts warm, and then layer my clothing up from there. If I am out and about and wear bulky clothes or jumpers that don’t breathe, I find I heat up far too quickly when I move indoors. So, it is equally important to be able to de-layer once inside.  Several comfortable layers made from quality fabrics is the key.”

ALSO READ: The ultimate winter toolkit for older people

Use a hot water bottle and keep cosy

Keeping warm in winter doesn’t have to be costly, as there are plenty of simple and inexpensive ways to keep yourself warm when in your home. One great way to stay warm is with a hot water bottle, and if you find you get cold at night or when you are asleep, taking a hot water bottle to bed with you can really help.

Rowena, the face behind the blog My Balancing Act, always recommends a hot water bottle for those who struggle to keep warm, and she suggests some tips about how to keep your feet warm in the winter: “Apart from the obvious, which is wearing lots of layers to keep you warm in the colder months, I leave the oven open after cooking in the evening. This lets the warmth from the oven out into the kitchen.

“I'm also a big fan of a hot water bottle. A long hot water bottle is perfect for warming more of the bed. Now that I’m working from home in the conservatory, I also use a hot water bottle to keep my feet warm under my desk on a cold day, perfect with soft, snuggly slippers.”

Another great, cosy option that will help you stay warm is to invest in a heated blanket or throw. You can enjoy heated blankets when you are sitting on the sofa watching the TV or reading a book, and if they get dirty, they are easy to wash.

Exercise and keep moving

Keeping the blood flowing around your body enables it to stay warm when the temperatures are colder, so making sure you stay active can have a real benefit to your overall temperature. As some people with limited mobility find getting out of the home a little tricky, there are plenty of accessible exercises you can do to raise your body temperature.

Simple exercises to keep your body warm:

  • Leg raises – raise your legs up and down from a seated position to increase your circulation.
  • Yoga and Pilates – Gentle yoga and Pilates can get the blood pumping through your body, improving circulation, which will, in turn, enable you to stay warmer.
  • Lift very light weights – You can lift very light weights over your head in repetition.
  • Chair exercises - In-chair exercises can vary from simple air punches to using fitness-based video games as a form of exercise

ALSO READ: Free online resources for exercise

Tips for how to keep your house warm in the winter

Making sure your home is as warm as it can be is one of the easiest ways to keep warm during the winter months.

There are a few simple ways to make sure your house is as warm as possible:

  • Set your heating to come on at certain times of the day - setting your heating to come on in the morning and the evening when you wake up and go to bed can really take the chill off a cold evening.
  • Add draught excluders – adding draught excluders under any doors and around any leaky windows can make a big difference.
  • Keep your curtains closed, especially during the night. When it is sunny, open them up to help the sun warm up your home, but when it gets dark, close them to trap in the heat.
  • Clear anything obstructing your heaters or radiators.
  • Close the doors to any unused rooms, which will prevent cold air from filtering out into the rest of your home. Similarly, if you have the heating on in selected rooms, then close the door when you leave them.
  • Get someone to move around your furniture; though you may feel nice and warm with your favourite chair or sofa sat in front of the radiator, you are actually blocking the heat from coming out. Instead, move your furniture and allow the heaters to warm up the room.
  • Install a smart thermostat– installing a smart thermostat allows you to turn the heating on from outside the house if you have a linked application on a smart phone, so you can come home to a warm home.  They also allow you to control the temperature without getting out of bed in the morning.

ALSO READ: Autumn and winter hobbies to enjoy at home

Check your heating and boiler

Your boiler is one of the most important parts of your home, as it powers your heating and hot water, and getting it checked regularly is a great way to make sure it is working at full capacity.

British Gas recommend that you service your heating annually, as this prevents any risk of gas leaks while ensuring that your boiler is working safely and effectively.

It can also save you a lot of money; an old boiler that isn’t working properly can lose you a significant amount as you compensate for its lack of heat.

A new boiler can provide more efficient hot water accessibility, as well as taking up a lot less space than older ones.

If in doubt, always get a fully qualified engineer to carry out a quality service.

Eat well

It may seem too simple to be true, but by simply eating well, you can keep yourself warmer and ultimately healthier.

Food is a vital source of energy, so ensure that you have regular hot meals and hot drinks several times a day.

Maintaining a good and varied diet will help you keep healthy. Packed full of nutrients and vitamins, fruit and veg will help keep any illnesses at bay.

Keep your cupboards and freezer stocked up with a variety of fresh foods and healthy, warming tinned food like soup and fish.

If you can’t get out and get your own shopping, you can ask a family member or friend to bring you what you need. Or what may be easier, you can go online and get your shopping from the likes of Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s. If it is particularly cold, warm yourself from the inside out with a hot drink before tucking up in bed.

ALSO READ: 5 winter crafts you can enjoy at home

Check weather forecasts

It would be best if you kept up to date with the current weather forecasts, as well as look ahead, which would allow you to prepare for any serious changes in the weather that could cause a problem.

The Met Office issues cold weather alerts via email when the mean temperature drops to 2C for 48 hours or longer and when there is a heavy fall of snow or widespread ice.

Having the knowledge of when the weather is likely to get colder allows you to prepare; if you see that heavy snow or ice is forecast, it means that you can ask a family member or friend to come and drop around some extra food or essentials like wood to last you through the intense weather.

Similarly, you can also prepare your heaters, which will save you money.

ALSO READ: Best winter hobbies for retirees

As the days and nights get colder, following some of these simple tips will make sure you’re staying as warm as you possibly can.

This article was brought to you by Handicare, working with Age Co, who provide a range of home mobility products such as homelifts and walk in baths and showers. For more information about how they can help make your home more accessible, please get in touch.

For more tips, guides, and advice, make sure to visit our news page.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.