January has come with its bitter air and frosty breath. After a wet and quite warm December it feels like Winter has finally arrived.
With energy prices so high, it is a concern for lots of people of how to keep warm.
As we get older our bodies change and it becomes harder for us to fight viruses and keep ourselves warm due to weakened immune systems and loss of muscle mass because of reduction in movement and frailty.
The cold also effects our hearts and circulation meaning health conditions can worsen or present higher risk of heart attacks and stroke as well as hypothermia, therefore it is essential to make sure we are keeping warm.
Here are some low-cost tips to help keep warm
It sounds simple but several thin layers of clothing will be more effective than one thick item of clothing. Thermal vests and long-sleeved tops can help to hold in heat.
If you are going outside, then layers and keeping your hands and feet warm are essential. Good socks, sturdy boots, gloves, scarves, and hats are a good way to add extra layers. Rechargeable electric hand warmers can be a cheap way to keep your hands warm while you outside.
Avoid sitting still for long periods of time and move around at least once an hour. Even moving your arms and legs whilst seated can help.
Putting your feet up when sitting can also avoid the cold from the floor.
- Eating hot meals and drinking regular hot drinks can also help.
Budget friendly hot meals include porridge, jacket potatoes, pasta, soups, and delicious stews are also great in winter.
Using a slow cooker, microwave or air fryer can also help to reduce energy use so you can use more of your budget to warm the home.
Keep you living areas warm
Try to keep your house warmed to at least 18 degrees if you can.
If possible turn off radiators in rooms that aren’t being used, to help reduce costs and close doors to trap in the heat. Please note that ventilation is still important, no matter how bitterly cold it is outside. It doesn’t have to be for long, wrap up warm and then open a window or door for a short time, even just a few minutes is enough, this will create a cross-draught. The damper air should exit your home and fresh air will be let in.
Close your curtains before it gets dark to keep in the heat and block drafts.
Hot water bottles and electric blankets can also keep you warm at night as long as you can control it yourself.
If you are struggling to keep warm there are warm banks or heat banks where councils and other organisations are offering a warm place to go. You can find your nearest bank here Warm Welcome Campaign
You can also seek support from the local council and your energy supplier may also have a free service to help people in vulnerable situations.