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How to keep your hands and feet warm

Our bodies react to being cold by re-directing our blood supply to our vital organs, and away from our extremities.

So to keep our hands and feet warm, it's important to keep our whole body warm.

Keep your body warm

  1. Layer. Several thin layers of clothing will keep you warmer than one thick layer, as the layers trap warm air between them.
  2. Wear a hat. Most heat is lost through your head so always wear a hat when you go out.
  3. Get cosy in bed. Use a hot-water bottle, wheat bag or an electric blanket to warm the bed, but never use a hot-water bottle and an electric blanket together.
  4. Keep active. This generates heat to help keep your body, hands and feet warm.
  5. Sit pretty. If you’re sitting down, a shawl or blanket will provide a lot of warmth.

Keep your hands warm

  1. Wear gloves. Gloves made of wool, leather or synthetic material with insulating properties are best for keeping your hands warm. But it can get quite wet over winter and when your gloves get wet they transfer heat from your hands to the air, so it's very important to have a pair of waterproof gloves as well.
  2. Pull your sleeves down. Minimise any gaps between your gloves and clothing so cold air can’t get in.
  3. Get the right fit. Warm air needs to be able to circulate round your fingers so it’s important to make sure your gloves aren’t too tight.
  4. Get a wiggle on! If your fingers or toes feel cold, wiggle them to stimulate blood flow.

Keep your feet warm

  1. Avoid having bare feet. Always wear socks, slippers or shoes in the house.
  2. Keep toes toasty in bed. If your feet get cold in the night then go to bed wearing socks.
  3. Keep your socks and feet dry. Wear dry waterproof shoes when you go out.
  4. Put your feet up. Hot air rises, so keep your feet up on a stool when sitting down, as floor level is likely to be the coolest part of a room.
  5. Opt for woolly socks. Wear woolly socks or socks containing an insulating material in the winter, and cotton socks in the summer as cotton provides better ventilation to keep your feet cool.
  6. Keep moving. Move your legs around to keep blood circulating to your feet.

Feeling the cold at home?

There are ways to make your home more energy efficient, and help's available if you're struggling with heating bills.

The development of this informational webpage was supported by an educational grant from Seqirus.

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Last updated: Oct 08 2021

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