How to warm up without a heater

5 heater-free ways to warm up, naturally 

Although it’s tempting to keep the heater on in the depths of winter, why not reduce your eco footprint – and your electricity bill – with our diet and lifestyle…

Although it’s tempting to keep the heater on in the depths of winter, why not reduce your eco footprint – and your electricity bill – with our diet and lifestyle tips for warming up the natural way? Not only are these easy suggestions enjoyable, they will support your health and wellbeing too. 

Choose cooked vegetables and fruit

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, raw fruit and vegetables hold a ‘cool energy’ that can leave you feeling cold and fatigued in the winter. Stewed fruit and cooked vegetables – especially seasonal root vegetables (sweet potato, beetroot, parsnip, carrot) – on the other hand can help generate body heat and promote circulation…perfect if you’re prone to cold hands and feet! Grains like rolled oats and brown and basmati rice, as well as nuts and seeds can have the same warming effect. 

Prioritise protein 

Consuming protein increases ‘thermogenesis’, the production of body heat. To increase your plant-based protein intake, try adding a handful of nuts or a dollop of nut butter to your porridge, chickpeas or beans to your veggie soups and stews, and tofu or tempeh to your stir fries…easy! 

Hydrate with warm water and herbal tea

Save the iced water for summer and shift to warm fluids instead while it’s chilly out. Warm water and herbal tea hydrate you just as well as cold water does, all while increasing circulation in the same way that a hot bath can; spicy and sweet ginger tea is especially beneficial for this. 

While ice cold water can be a bit of a shock to the digestive and nervous system  – warm water (between 48 and 60 degrees Celsius) can be nice and soothing on the digestive tract and supports digestion, with the potential to alleviate constipation, according to ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda also believes warm water can help calm the central nervous system, and so if you’re prone to feeling anxious, it might be worth hydrating with it year-round.

Hit the yoga mat 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do bikram/hot yoga to get warm (although you totally can if that’s your thing!). Even gentle yoga can help fire up your internal heater, fast. 

On days where you don’t have time to make it to the studio, some warming yoga poses that you can do from the comfort of your home include Garudasana/Eagle Pose (standing twist), Crescent Pose/High Lunge, and Uttanasana/Standing Forward Fold. Just giving yourself five to 10 minutes to practise these warming yoga stretches can make a nice winter morning ritual – one that unlike sitting by the heater, will get your blood flowing and energise you for the day. 

End the day with an essential oil bath 

Winter is the perfect excuse for a leisurely hot bath, so why not add a few drops of warming essential oils while you’re at it? Along with the hot water itself, a few drops of an essential oil like ginger, marjoram cinnamon bark or rosemary can help warm up the skin and blood vessels – improving blood flow and keeping you warm through to bedtime, all while providing an evening ritual that seals the day on a comforting, calming note. 

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Published: 02/08/19

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