Cold days, long nights, and the lack of daylight are factors that will disrupt people’s routines. Or at least that’s what Jack Raglin, an exercise psychologist and professor at Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, suggests.
“You can look at large-scale studies and you see this sort of wave effect where physical activity levels start to decrease as temperature goes down,” Raglin told TODAY, an American news and talk morning television show.
Despite this, staying warm during the winter can do wonders for your health, such as improving your quality of sleep, developing your cognition, and boosting your immune system. Fortunately, there are four free ways for you to achieve just that — so pay attention to these things as the weather grows chilly:
4 free ways to stay warm this winter
1. Look out for energy grants
As winter approaches, universities are playing their part to ease the financial burden students may face as they try to keep themselves warm.
In York, York University is distributing energy grants valued at 150 pounds to 2,220 students for off-campus residents that are headed for a bleak winter if they can’t keep up with bill payments.
“Whilst many of our students are accommodated on campus, the Household Energy Grant is aimed at supporting those students who live off-campus and who face considerable financial pressure as energy bills rise,” vice-chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery was quoted saying to BBC News.
2. Free food and drinks
For those staying on campus, you’re in luck. Student accommodation teams are often well-prepared for the harshest of winters. Think of a hot cup of chocolate or delicious treats, regardless if you are staying at a university-affiliated accommodation or student dorm.
The best part? Keep an eye out for free food and drinks in the area. For instance, some places in Belfast offer free student lunches every week. If you are a coffee enthusiast, remember to collect stamps on your loyalty card, participate in referral schemes, or even apps that pay you for walking to redeem a free coffee at your favourite coffee shops in the UK.
3. Free workouts
If you are a fitness enthusiast, where would you go to search for quick and effective routines? Chances are, you are scrolling through Youtube and other social media platforms like Instagram, or Tik Tok.
With these apps, you can find quick, effective, and free workouts you can do in the comforts of your own dorm. Say goodbye to waking early to hit the gym or brave the chilly weather. In fact, it can be safer to do your workout indoors if you are scared of exercising outside during the winter.
These workouts range from high-intensity interval training to yoga that will help you unwind after a long day of studying or working through your assignments.
4. Enjoy the outdoors
When the weather permits, do take the time to enjoy a nice stroll outside your accommodation. Those staying on picturesque campuses should seize the opportunity to enjoy stunning unique natural landscapes — picture the Grand Canyon, the Austrian Alps or London in winter — that only come by once a year.
On that note, do dress for the weather. According to Dr. Sara Terrell, an exercise scientist at Florida Southern College, three layers are the perfect way to stay warm. They can consist of the following:
- An underlayer made of synthetic, moisture-wicking materials
- A warmer mid-layer that can be made of fleece or wool
- A light outer shell to protect against wind and precipitation
Avoid cotton as they absorb sweat. This will cool your body and increase your risk for hypothermia. Remember to wear shoes with prominent tread on the bottom to ensure good traction and a good pair of gloves and socks to stay warm.