It seems Jack Frost has an extra bite this year. With temperatures plummeting and roads treacherous, staying warm and healthy indoors is all the more important.

Older people are particularly vulnerable in this weather. If you haven’t already, check in on your older neighbours, particularly those on their own. Mobility issues may hamper movement and they may need your help to get plug up drafts or light the fire.

Here are 7 Ways to Stay Warm and Healthy this Winter.

1. Plug up Drafty Windows and Doors

– If you have older windows, a lot of heat may be escaping, and cold finding its way in. Fixing plastic sheeting over the window will help keep out the worst of the cold.

– Use draft stoppers for the base of doors and windows

– Check that double hung windows are firmly closed at the top and the bottom

2. Clothing – Layer Up and Wear a Hat!

– Wear several thin layers of clothes. Your own body warmth will get trapped in the air pockets between the layers. Long underwear is particularly good for helping you stay warm and dry. Thermal underwear is best

– Your 1st layer should be lightweight material, one that won’t trap sweat e.g. synthetic fibres like Polyester. Don’t wear Cotton. Your 2nd layer is the insulation layer so wear a Fleece or a soft wool sweater

Cover your head with a good hat. Most heat escapes through the head

– Keep a throw or blanket handy and get fleece slippers if you can

3. Food – Hot and Spicy is Best!

– Soups, stews, and casseroles are your best friends in Winter. They will keep you warm from within

– Eat a protein rich diet to keep your metabolism working hard

– Spicy foods will also heat you up. Cayenne pepper, cinnamon and ginger all increase circulation so add these to your cooking for an extra boost

4. Heating

– Have your chimney swept and your heating system checked

– Use timers efficiently to make sure you are warm enough throughout the day

– Ensure adequate ventilation if you are using wood burning, coal, or gas heaters

– Check that your smoke alarm is working

For more details on ideal temperatures see

5. In Bed

– Make sure you have plenty of blankets

– If you use bed warmers or heating pads, don’t have them against your skin for too long or you might get a burn. Electric blankets are great, but not all are designed to be switched on all night. Check this.

– Use a hot water bottle

– Don’t use a hot water bottle and electric blanket together!

6. Exercise

– Get plenty of exercise to boost your metabolism and get your circulation going. Get out for a walk in the afternoon (remember the layers!)

– Try not to sit still for long periods if you can avoid it

– Build a snowman

– You don’t need to exercise vigorously to stay warm. Gently does it

7. Health Remedies

– Keep cold and flu remedies close at hand. Your pharmacist will advise you on the best ones

– Order repeat prescriptions ahead of time

– Look into seasonal flu jabs


I write this from an old bungalow in Tuam, Co. Galway so I am using these tips myself. If I think of any more, I’ll let you know.

Wrap up, eat warm and look after yourselves. 🙂



– Cold Weather Checklist from –

– See more at: