And that's not the only thing making it hard to stay warm as the temperatures continue to drop around you. You're going to need all the advice you can get in order to stay toasty this winter. Although you might already know that a space heater is a great way to heat up a room, or that Canadian Goose is apparently the jacket of 2013, there are other important warming techniques you might be getting wrong.
Below are 6 things that'll help you avoid having to do this all winter...
1. You might warm up by eating gingerbread cookies.
The root herb ginger is a centuries-old medicinal supplement used to soothe colds, motion sickness and other stomach problems. And according to lore, it also "gets the blood flowing" and softens cold hearts, metaphorically, at least. One study conducted on rats showed that ginger, even as an ingredient in food, has the ability to raise body temperatures. There's a reason we tend to associate gingerbread with the cold of wintertime -- people traditionally believed the herb to stimulate the body and increase blood circulation.
2. Loneliness can lower your body temperature.
It's no fun to be ignored, as anyone who's attended middle school can attest, but a pair of researchers at the University of Toronto say that lack of social contact can lead to physical consequences. In other words, giving someone the "cold shoulder" can actually make them feel colder.
3. Hot drinks might actually cool you off.
When having a hot drink, nerve receptors in your tongue (specifically the TRPV1 Receptor) signal to the rest of your body that something "hot" is coming and you need to start sweating. Neuroscientist Peter McNaughton of the University of Cambridge told NPR that, "The hot drink somehow has an effect on your systemic cooling mechanisms, which exceeds its actual effect in terms of heating your body." For the sweat to really cool you off, it needs to evaporate -- if it just dampens your clothes or drips off, it won't do you any favors.
4. You don't catch a cold because of cold weather.
Exposure to lower temperatures doesn't give you a cold by itself. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services there is, "no experimental evidence that exposure to cold temperatures increases the chances that you will get a cold." Instead, the rise in sickness and colds in the winter months is typically linked to people spending more time indoors, which allows germs to transfer between people more easily.
5. Wearing white might actually be the warmest color.
Black clothing absorbs heat from the sun and white clothing reflects it, but the common wisdom that white should be worn in summer and darker clothes in winter might need to be rethought. White's function as a reflector also appears to apply to body heat, meaning that wearing it may trap your natural heat close to your body in looser fitting clothes, like a jacket. Dark clothing, meanwhile, may be less likely to trap your body heat in.
6. The cold weather can help you lose weight.
Tried all this and still shivering? Hey, at least you're losing weight! In cold temperatures the body works harder to warm itself up, not only burning more calories while working out but activating brown fat, which burns them more efficiently than white fat. Some people apparently believe that punishing themselves with icy-cold temperatures can help them lose more weight...