Always freezing? Try these easy, healthy ways to turn up your body's thermostat. By Amy Levin-Epstein, REDBOOK.
1. Try commercial-break yoga. If you've been parked in front of the TV all winter, deepening that groove in your couch, your circulation has slowed a bit. That'll make you chilly, so get the blood flowing again by doing a simple yoga pose during the commercials, or whenever, says Timothy McCall, M.D., a board-certified internist and the author of Yoga as Medicine. His favorite pose for firing up your internal heater? The cobra. Here's how to do it: Lie facedown on the floor with your palms near your chest. Push up, lifting your head, shoulders, and chest, pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower yourself to the carpet again. After a few reps, you should feel toastier.
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2 Don't be a mouth-breather. Just inhaling and exhaling through the nose filters the air and warms it, which can help your whole body feel toastier, McCall says. Inhale for four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds, then exhale for four seconds, and repeat a few more times. Who needs a blanket?
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3. Put on a vest. Ever wonder why your hands and feet get so darn cold? "The body always sacrifices the extremities to maintain the heat of the core--the heart and lungs," says David Rakel, M.D., director of integrative medicine at the University of Wisconsin. The solution: Wear a vest. Your entire body will get warmer because blood flow won't be redirected from your hands and feet, Rakel says.
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4. Brew a better tea. The most warming of all warming drinks: ginger tea. Ginger has properties that help relax your blood vessels, so it improves circulation--"you literally feel your toes and fingers getting warmer as you drink it," says Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., the fellowship director at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. It works whether you buy the packaged kind or make your own; just add ⅛ tsp ground ginger to a cup of boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes. Strain into a mug, add a touch of honey and lemon, and drink in the warmth.
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