If you’re wearing a hat and gloves 24/7, there are things you can do to keep warm besides blasting the heater or wearing wool from head to toe.

Poor circulation may be one reason why hands and feet get cold, however, it could also be caused by thyroid activity level, kidney and heart disease, anemia, hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, and poor diet. See your doctor to be sure you do not have a medical condition. Then, try some of these ways to increase your circulation and to stay warm:

    • Eat warming foods such as miso soup, red meat, whole grains, root vegetables, cayenne pepper and ginger; not ice cream or soft drinks.
    • Indulge in heavier foods. Use more oils when sautéing, or dribble some ghee onto your rice or vegetables. Eat cooked rather than raw vegetables and fruit.
    • Drink hot teas containing spices such as cinnamon, ginger, pepper and cardamom.
    • Take hot baths, which are soothing and warm the body through and through.
    • Try acupuncture, which increases circulation by stimulating nerves that relay information to the brain.
    • Practice your favorite stress-reduction technique – meditation, yoga, therapy, laughter, and sex….
    • Keep moving; your body generates heat as a byproduct when it moves. Get your heart rate up with brisk walks, bicycling or other forms of exercise.
    • Use a rebounder or inversion machine to get the blood moving throughout your body. Much of your body heat is circulated via the blood stream, so wiggle those toes and fingers.
    • Open blinds on south-facing windows during the day to let in the sun. Bask in it.
    • Remember the old water bottle? Pour some boiling water into it, wrap it, and sleep with it at night to stay cozy. For extra warmth, try placing the bottle under your armpits or on the inside of your upper thighs. Your arteries are close to the surface of your skin there, and your blood can gain a little extra heat to circulate.
    • Surprise, surprise – drink plenty of water to keep your machine “well-oiled.” It’s important to keep hydrated, and to use good moisturizing skin products during the cold season as well as the heat of summer.
    • Mix raw, organic honey with some soothing cardamom pods into a cup of hot, boiled milk; light some lovely, natural scented candles; relax and enjoy the warmth.
    • Flannel sheets and a thick down comforter make nighttime extra warm and inviting to snuggle into on even the coldest of nights!

If your house is just too cold, there are new space heating technologies such as convection heat and radiant heat that are worth looking into. A portable radiator-type oil heater uses a lot of power, but not nearly as much as a furnace. Tightening up the house by stopping air leaks, having insulated interior coverings on all windows, putting plastic up on the outside of windows, and putting a “jacket” on the hot water heater, all help. Close the heater vents and shut the doors to unused rooms in your home. Warning: electrical emissions from electric blankets and similar warming devices may be hazardous to your health.