The ultimate challenge - which activity or food will keep you warmer? You'll be surprised!
A hot drink or a bath?
Definitely a hot bath! The only way to truly warm up is to keep core body temperature up and immersing yourself in a hot bath is one of the most effective ways of doing this. Having a hot drink, however, is just a drop in the ocean of body warmth.
Feathers or synthetics?
Natural products are always warmer. Try quilts containing feathers. A synthetic quilt will do the job if you opt for a microfibre polyester version, which contains tiny fibres to trap body heat.
Gloves or mittens?
Just look at the mittened hands of any Arctic explorer for the answer. In order to protect our vital organs, the body sacrifices the extremities by switching off blood flow (and therefore heat) to them. That’s why we feel the cold most in our fingers and toes. To make matters worse, our fingers and thumbs are like ten cylinders with a large surface area from which heat can escape. By wearing mittens instead of gloves, you’re decreasing that area (two cylinders instead of ten), so losing less warmth.
Soup or curry?
Eating any kind of food warms you up slightly because you’re giving your digestive system a metabolic workout – and exercise generates heat. But curry offers a double-whammy internal heating effect thanks to the capsaicin contained in chillies.
Fleece or wool?
Fleece may be high-tech, but old-fashioned wool wins out. The fibres are smaller and hairier, so have more spaces in which body heat can be trapped. If you’re opting for fleece, go for hollow fibre over microfibre, as this has been shown to retain body heat for longer.
The pub or the gym?
Alcohol increases blood flow to the skin, and while you may feel hotter, your body is actually losing its warmth. Exercise is a good way of cranking up your internal thermometer because the process generates heat.