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How to Keep Warm in the Polar Vortex – Our Top 5

Mike Klein

Since this winter has been littered with wind chill warnings, winter weather advisories and as soon as we get above zero, it plummets to below zero and stays there. Usually, there’s a little bit of a reprieve come February, but even next month looks below normal according to the long range models. If you’re sick of shivering, here are a few ways to warm up, and stay warm.

When I go home, I workout and then immediately take a shower. It usually keeps me warm for the rest of the day. If I am cold at work, I run hot water over my hands and often eat soup for lunch. One day, I was eating soup for lunch and literally had to take off my sweater because I was so warm.

Layer Up

Layers are key. Rarely do I wear one of anything in the winter time. My wardrobe routinely consists of two pair of socks, long underwear, heavy jeans, a thermal top, t-shirt and then a sweater or fleece zip up. It takes me forever to get ready in the morning, but I stay warm. I am a big fan of Cuddl Duds. I usually find them at Target, but if you’re looking for warm layers like that this time of year, go to Fleet Farm. Target is all about volume and right now the swimsuits are front and center. Fleet Farm knows what’s up.

Buy a Good Coat

When looking for a coat, buy the highest amount of wool you can afford. Also look for Thinsulate and goose down as fillers. A properly fitting coat is also one that allows you to move freely, so when you go to try them on, wear a heavy sweater or sweatshirt to mimic your daily wardrobe. If you try it on over a cardigan or blazer, when you get it home and go to wear it with the layers, you’re going to be doing “fat guy in a little coat” from Tommy Boy. The warmest winter coat I own, I bought at Savers during a Get Up & Go Show on the Road. It was $9. I wore it on the North Shore in a gale warning and I wasn’t cold at all, so don’t dismiss the thrift shop!

Keep it Covered

Now that you have your layers on and your coat zipped, winter accessories are key. I see girls darting around in little boots, thin gloves, a thin zip jacket, and ear muffs. I understand that bundling up isn’t “cute” but I’d rather look like the kid from A Christmas Story and be warm than get frostbite. If it’s too cold for just a hood, I always wear a hat. I personally am a fan of the ear flapper style. I always wear Thinsulate lined leather driving gloves inside my wool and Thinsulate mittens. That way, if I need to do something tactile like use the drive up ATM or pump gas, I don’t have to expose my bare skin and risk frostbite. We also lose a lot of body heat through our neck, so make sure you have a scarf (I own a wool and cashmere scarf from Nordstrom that’s soft as a blanket) or a gaiter.

Yoga and Meditation

Even if you don’t have time to hit up a yoga class, their relaxation breathing techniques can actually help keep you warm. We all have an inner power plant that we can tap into to create body heat. It involves breathing in through the nose, holding it, breathing out through your mouth and waiting a few moments to take another breath. It takes about 10 minutes or so, but it works.

Move It

Moving your body always helps. Whether it’s friction or just doing some light stretching or warm up exercises like moving your shoulders, arms and legs, it gets your blood moving. Jumping up and down helps, too. I was standing at Lambeau Field during a game and noticed my toes feeling a little cold, so I started jumping up and down. Not because the Vikings were winning, but rather to get blood flowing to the lower parts of my body. I looked a little odd, but I was warm!

How Do You Stay Warm?

 

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