How to Keep Your Body Warm in Winter

Updated on January 2, 2018
Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green is interested in common-sense approaches to health, quality of life, and planning for the future.


Do You Dread Feeling Cold in Winter?

Winter can be a real challenge if you happen to live in a place that gets snow and/or frigid temperatures. Fighting off the cold, if we are honest, can be downright miserable. Having to venture outside seems to become more challenging the older we get, too. Whereas kids seem largely oblivious, when we get older we may begin to dread having to leave our homes—and it seems that no matter how warmly we dress, we still come home chilled. We may spend hours afterward feeling cold, no matter what we do in terms of heating or layers.

Winter can truly be an endurance test, but there are ways to keep warmer when the winter winds blow and the snow begins to fall. This article will explore ways to keep your body warm. For those who are more susceptible to the cold and feel it to a greater degree, knowing what to do to stay warm can help you be more comfortable.

Do You Feel as Cold as a Block of Ice?


Sock Trick

This is one trick that will seem obvious, and yet many never think of it. If your feet are cold, put on 2-4 pairs of socks--even when inside your home. Once they are pulled on, you truly won't notice a difference, except that your feet will feel warmer.

Keep them on if you have to go out.

This trick is especially helpful if you aren't in possession of thicker, woolen socks.

Have you ever thought to wear more than one pair of socks?

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Slippers can up foot warmth significantly.
Slippers can up foot warmth significantly.

Wearing Slippers Can Make a Huge Difference

While socks help, you will notice a huge difference if you also pull on slippers. Crocheted or knit slippers that are worked in multiple strands or made with wool, can help to have your feet feeling toasty. And by all means, wear these to bed, if they are the kind that don't slip off.


Warm Leg Trick

One of the best ways you can keep your lower legs warm is to put on a pair of 100% wool legwarmers and wear them throughout the winter.

Many believe wool is scratchy but that has more to do with the chemicals used in cleaning the wool, than actually in the wool. A good-quality wool, cleaned without harsh chemicals, is soft against the skin.

If you are allergic to wool (and not the chemicals), crocheted or knit legwarmers from acrylic yarn are the next best thing. Why these instead of store-bought? Handcrafted legwarmers tend to be warmer. And a thicker yarn can be used, if desired.

If you have trouble with achy knees, leg warmers can be made to go over the knee and a rectangle of felt can be sewn on the front side to keep both shins and knees warm. If you don't crochet or knit, you may choose to hire someone to make you a pair. If you do, get them to add a tie at the top, to prevent your legwarmers from sliding down, because they will loosen with wear.


Body Warmth Trick

This is another idea that will seem obvious and yet many never implement it. There's a reason you see so many seniors in long-johns or thermal underwear. They got sick of freezing in the winter months and finally decided to "live" in their long-johns.

Wearing these against your upper and lower body can contribute greatly to comfort levels.

All Pants Aren't Created Equal

We all love jeans, but did you know that standard jean material is awful in winter? If your legs are chronically cold, you might opt to choose different pants for wearing outside.

Jeans Are Not the Fabric of Choice in Winter

Jeans are a favorite for most of us but regular jeans truly aren't up to the task in winter. You need material that wicks cold away from your skin, and sadly, jeans don't do this. This is why your legs feel so cold when you wear jeans outside in winter. While they may be sturdy, they aren't warm, and if cold legs are a problem, you may choose to switch to fleece or some other material that will serve you better for conserving body warmth.

If you still prefer to wear jeans or if you have to wear jeans because you don't have pants in other warmer material, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce chilled legs. See capsule on right.

If You Must Wear Standard Jeans

Put on a pair of leggings under your jeans.

Buy Warmer Jeans

  1. Buy denim jeans with wool.
  2. Wear flannel-lined jeans.
  3. Wear fleece-lined
  4. Wear heat-tech jeans
  5. Wear thermal jeans.


Cold Hands Trick

Even with furnaces blasting, many find their hands get cold in winter. And wearing mittens inside the house isn't the answer because we need our fingers free throughout the day.

Solution? Put on a pair of fingerless gloves. Your lower arms, wrists and hands will feel much warmer but you will still have your fingers free.

Buy the knit or crocheted kind for better warmth. Many crafters make these and if you can't get a pair locally, Etsy is a great online marketplace for handcrafted items.

Both Inside and Outside

As can be seen, many of the items that we wear to stay warm outside, can also be worn to help us stay warmer inside.

Warmer = Better Sleep

Warm Neck Trick

Cowls aren't just for wearing outside, they are the perfect item one can wear indoors to keep the neck area warm. You'll be surprised how "cozy" wearing a cowl inside will feel--almost like having a blanket tucked around your neck.

And if you find your neck is cold at night, wear your cowl to bed.

Have you ever worn a cowl inside?

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Eleanor Beaton
Eleanor Beaton

Hat Trick

Who says hats have to just be worn outside. We're talking warmth here, people, and wearing a hat inside is another idea that's time has come. Thinking outside the box can make a difference to warmth levels.

If you happen to have a hooded sweater, this is also an ideal item, and each time you feel cold, you can slip the hat on.

I wear a 100% wool sweater with a hat and on days when I just can't seem to get warm, on goes the hat.

Here's an even neater trick: when you go to bed at night, wear a hat. You'll be amazed at how much warmer you feel. Feeling cold at night can contribute to sleeplessness, so this is an important consideration.

Have you ever worn a hat to bed?

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Did You Know?

Wool, flannel, and synthetics will keep you warmer than cotton.

My Go-To Sweater

100% wool for chilly winter days.
100% wool for chilly winter days.

Use the Right Bedding for More Body Warmth

  • Use flannel sheets in winter (high-quality flannel should have a weight of at least 4 ounces per square yard).
  • Use wool blankets (wool keeps sheep warm and can keep you warm, too).
  • Use polar fleece (air trapped in the hollow core fibers provides optimum warmth).

Warm Bed Tricks

If you don't have an electric blanket, there are a few things you can do to preheat your bed to make for a warmer sleeping experience.

  • Fill a sock with rice and heat in the microwave 1-3 minutes until sock feels hot then tuck this into your bed, 10-15 minutes before you climb in.
  • Fill a couple of hot water bottles and tuck between sheets, right before you go to bed.
  • If you plan on staying in the room, turn on a blow dryer and hold it between the sheets, leaving space around it.

Hate Crawling Between Cold Sheets?

If you don't want to preheat your bed, as in the suggestions above, there's another trick that while not quite as "warm" will certainly reduce some of the cold feel. Beds that are neatly made, do nothing to warm the sheets under comforters. A simple trick to reduce that cold feel, is to simply fold back your bedding, so that the inside of the bed benefits from the heat in your home.

Have you thought about how the material in your bedding might play a role in how cold or warm you feel?

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Warmth, Oh Warmth, Wherefore Art Thou?

With a little planning and forethought, you can keep your body warmer during the winter months. Sometimes, even simple changes make a world of difference. I hope you've found ideas in this article that you hadn't previously thought of—and that these will help you stay warmer and more comfortable during those cold, winter months.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Athlyn Green

What do you do to stay warm?

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I wish I had read this many years ago when we lived in central Wisconsin. It could get really cold there! We had real temperatures sometimes getting down to minus 20, 30 and occasionally even minus 40!

      Now except for a short winter in Houston we are more attuned to staying cool rather than the reverse. Good article!

    • profile image

      Theresa Sky 

      3 years ago

      You are welcom Athlyn Green. :)

    • Athlyn Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Athlyn Green 

      3 years ago from West Kootenays

      Thank you, Raine.

    • Raine Sky profile image

      T S Sky 

      3 years ago from Saint Louis, MO.

      Cool article


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