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Cranking up the heat, flannel sheets, dressing in layers — there are a number of traditional ways to stay warm in cold weather.
But for folks looking for more unusual methods, we’ve outlined seven savvy, low-tech ways to ward off the cold this winter. Some of them might even save you a little cash.
1. Reverse your ceiling fan
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When chilly temps set in, you probably aren’t thinking about turning on your ceiling fan. But the appliance actually boasts year-round benefits.
Heat rises. Therefore, reversing the direction of the blades — so they spin in a clockwise motion — will draw cooler air up toward the ceiling while forcing warmer air (which rises) back down to heat your space.
Choose the lowest setting and remember to adjust your thermostat accordingly — you might even see significant savings on your next electric bill. The University of Arkansas cites research showing that wintertime use of ceiling fans can lower heating costs by 20 to 30 percent.
2. Pitch a tent or assemble a blanket fort
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Setting up camp in your living room or bedroom can actually help you warm up this winter. According to Lifehack:
Any type of tent will do; all you need to do is put a blanket over your face to trap the air (although not so close as to suffocate you). There’s a reason canopy beds were designed, and it’s not just for decorative purposes. These work well to keep the heat in your bed while you sleep.
So grab your tent — or assemble a fort with blankets — and prepare for cozy comfort!
3. Get physical
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Don’t use frigid temps as an excuse to hang around the house all day like an icicle. Get your heart pumping and generate some body heat with a little physical activity.
If you have a home gym, put your treadmill or stationary bike to good use. Remember to close the door to seal in the room’s warm air.
Even if you don’t have at-home exercise equipment, there are still many easy exercises you can perform. They range from jogging in place and jumping jacks to simply organizing your kitchen.
4. Get steamed up
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Ever visit Florida during the summer? Then you can say with 100 percent certainty that humidity makes air feel warmer.
Bring a little of the Sunshine State into your home this winter by using a humidifier to add moisture to bone-dry winter air.
If you don’t have a humidifier, you’ll need to improvise a bit. Keep the bathroom door open while you enjoy a long, hot shower and let the steam work its wonders throughout your space.
5. Put your mind over matter
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Meditation is another great way to keep the cold at bay this winter. Lifehack says that even though you can feel the cold on your skin, you also can train your mind to better accept such sensations. According to Lifehack:
If you think you’re cold, you’ll tense up and start to shiver, but if you actively concentrate on changing your perception of that same feeling you’re experiencing, you’ll begin to relax and gain control over your body.
6. Cook up a storm
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Your grandparents and great-grandparents knew a thing or two about staying warm in winter that can still pay dividends today. According to Wise Bread:
Generations ago, our heating system was our cooking system. The wood-burning oven, coal stove or fireplace served the dual purpose of feeding the family and keeping them warm.
Wise Bread suggests lowering the furnace whenever you cook. Also, try to cook when everyone is home and “can enjoy the added warmth.”
One caveat: Although it may be tempting, using an empty oven to generate heat is inefficient and may pose serious safety risks, ranging from burns to carbon monoxide poisoning.
7. Chill out — literally
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Finally, if all of these methods fail to make you feel warm, it may be time to simply chill out — literally.
Although it may seem counterintuitive, embracing the chilly weather can actually help you stay warm during sweater season.
People who spend a lot of time in the cold can actually acclimatize their bodies to deal better with the chill, according to an article posted at Live Science. The way this happens is not fully understood, but may have to do with a type of body fat called brown fat. While regular white body fat stores calories, brown fat consumes calories and releases the energy as heat.
According to Live Science:
Studies in animals and humans have shown that cold acclimation increases brown fat’s heat-generating capacity. Some research also suggests that exposure to cold actually boosts the amount of brown fat in the body.
Do you have any favorite tips for keeping warm when the weather turns cold? Share them in comments below or on our Facebook page.