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Woman sitting on the sofa with a cup in her hand skynesher

Keeping warm naturally – from aniseed to circuit training

Whether eating food to warm us up or wearing cosy clothes – we know what will definitely keep you warm in the winter and have the best tips for preventing frostbite. 

Heat sources: eating properly in the winter

Our body needs energy to keep warm in the wind and cold weather. It gets this from the food we eat by converting the fat and calories it contains. In other words, if we are hungry and the body has no means of generating energy, we shiver. The same thing happens when we are dehydrated and the blood can no longer flow properly around the body. 

Our body’s ability to regulate heat is therefore determined by what we eat and drink. And there are even some really special sources of heat: 

Fatty saltwater fish such as cod, herring, plaice, tuna, trout and generally smoked fish types supply the body with plenty of energy and also contain healthy fatty acids that boost the body’s immune system.  

Winter vegetables such as cabbage, beetroot and pumpkin equally supply the body with vitamins and energy and can also be bought fresh when in season in the winter. Beetroot even supports the formation of mitochondria, the “power plants” of our cells.  

Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, pine kernels and chestnuts can justifiably be described as bundles of energy. They supply the body with a high amount of unsaturated fatty acids, protein and carbohydrates, but also vitamins and folic acid. 

Tea heats the body on account of its serving temperature alone. Yet this effect is increased even further with herbs such as fennel, aniseed and caraway. 

It is generally advisable to favour hot meals over cold dishes in the winter. That’s because our body must expend more energy digesting raw ingredients than it lacks for the production of heat. It is therefore better to heat the food to make it easy to digest. Soups and stews help the body to heat up especially quickly. By all means start your day with a warm bowl of porridge. This will provide you with the ideal basis for a day without freezing. 

There are also some spices that are especially good at keeping us warm: cinnamon, chilli, pepper and cardamom, for example, boost the blood flow. Ginger and turmeric are also natural virus killers.  Find out more about this in the article Fit through the flu season: effectively preventing infections.

Self-care: a fit body won’t freeze

Exercise helps to fire up the circulation and the body’s own heating plant. It stimulates the blood flow and activates the muscles as energy converters. Especially in the fresh air, not only your circulation, but also your immune system is kept going. 

In the office, a few squats or simply taking the stairs can be enough. But regular jogging, walking or hiking not only keeps the body in trim, but also permanently fit and in peak form. You can find tips for beginners in our article: Hiking: tips and advice for beginners. 

Your circulation can also be kick-started with hot/cold treatments such as contrast showers or regular sauna visits. This activates the cardiovascular system and has a positive effect on the immune system. 

Exposing yourself to the cold rather than avoiding it can also toughen you up: people who always venture outside in the wind and cold weather to cycle or hike prepare their bodies well for the cold in the winter and can also cope with it better. 

At the same time, you should always make sure that your body in general, but your feet in particular are always kept warm and the blood flows well. You should avoid, for example, socks with cuffs that are too tight and shoes that restrict the blood flow to the feet. If the feet do happen to get cold, warm foot baths and massages will help. Cherry stone or grain pillows from the oven or microwave also provide long-lasting heat and not only keep frozen feet nice and warm.

Woman joggingskynesher

A warm shell: textiles that keep you warm

When it comes to materials, it is also important to know which ones keep you warm. Not every kind of textile is suitable for keeping our body at a constant temperature in the winter. 

It is important to make sure that moisture is wicked away from the body so that we don’t cool down and the air warmed by the body is retained. As always, natural materials do this best: fine wool, cashmere, silk and textiles filled with down have always kept the human body warm. This looks especially stylish in combination with coarser, warming textiles like velvet, corduroy and leather. And when it comes to sports and outdoor activities, functional textiles such as hard- and soft-shell materials or GORE-TEX keep you reliably dry and warm with the membranes and coatings.  

As different as these various warm clothes look and feel, their requirements in terms of the right care are equally diverse. Persil Service will be happy to help you – find out more at www.persil-service.de and in the Persil Service app – both convenient and mobile. Now available to download from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.