Spend Time Being Social
Many of us groan at the first signs of oncoming winter, and look for any excuse we can get to stay snuggled under those covers.
But hibernating indoors isn't the only way to stay warm -- there are far healthier (and less isolated) ways to heat up. Check out these eight ways to stay warm this winter, many of which even come with added health benefits.
1. Spend Time Being Social
If you're flipflopping between a night out with friends or a night under the covers, consider this: Spending time socializing could make you feel physically warmer than being alone. A study conducted by the University of Toronto researchers found that social exclusion literally feels cold. So despite the frigid temperatures and the temptation to hibernate, make an effort to spend some time with your buddies.
2. Get Nutty
Foods that are high in healthy fats -- like nuts -- help the body regulate its temperature, which is why people whose diets are deficient
in fat often report feeling cold, Self magazine reported. So grab a handful when you feel the chill (just be mindful of portion sizes) and reap the many other benefits of nuts.
3. Snuggle Up
As if you need more reason to cuddle
up! Aside from the extra body heat, cuddling releases that feel-good hormone, oxytocin
, that reduces stress and lowers blood pressure.
4. Get Moving
Make an effort to exercise and you'll reap benefits beyond mood-boosting endorphins and maintaining a healthy weight.
Fitting in a sweat session will increase blood circulation throughout your body, which can help you stay focused, handle stressful situations and, of course, warm up. That's because when it's cold out, circulation in parts of the body, like the fingers, decreases, which is why those extremities are often the first to feel cold when the temperature drops, Livestrong reported.
Sip On Something Steamy
5. Sip On Something Steamy
Drinking a hot beverage
will warm you right up (and of course, there's nothing like a piping-hot mug against your frigid fingers). And, if you pick the right drinks -- like teas and coffees (preferably sans
the added sugar and cream) -- you could be sipping on some serious health perks:
Green tea, for example, is high in antioxidant polyphenols
which are able to help our bodies fight against the cell-damaging free radicals acquired through the environment. And coffee, which also contains antioxidants, has been shown in several studies to lower the risk of some cancers.
Start With Soup
6. Start With Soup
Like tea, a hot soup can warm you from the inside out. But it could do more than help you heat up -- soup is filling, which means it could help if you're trying to cut calories. A 2007 Penn State study found that participants who first ate soup before their lunch entree
reduced their calorie intake by 20 percent, compared to their soup-less counterparts. Start with a broth-based, fiber-filled (that means veggies!) soup to cut your calorie-intake and warm up.
Spice It Up
7. Spice It Up
Incorporate some more herbs and spices into your next dish and you'll heat up while adding some extra flava'.
Ginger, in particular, can get blood circulation going and the body temperature up, WebMD reported. It warms you up from the inside
Take A Warm Bath
8. Take A Warm Bath
Escape the cold with a warm soak in the tub -- and sleep better, too.
That's because our body temperatures naturally cool down around the time we should go to sleep. Health.com reports that taking a nice warm bath a couple hours before bedtime can raise your body temperature, prompting a greater drop in body temperature before bed -- helping you feel more relaxed.