Sunday, 7 October 2012
Shivering to Save
Now I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold. Some of it is well founded. Since childhood, my feet are like little blocks of ice for much of the year and are, indeed painful shrouded in a good layer or two of cosy fabric. Using the thermal properties of materials is behind many of my fellow bloggers' seasonal thrifty tips. Insulation might be applied to the structure of your house in the form of curtains, extra glazing, sausage dog draught excluders.... you'll be getting the generally idea by now. Or it could be applied much closer to your body, say in the form of fluffy blankets, homemade knitwear or layering clothing. All these measures seem like they'd go towards creating that rather wonderful winter wonderland state that the Danes know as Hygge
Amateur mad scientist that I am, I'm going down a different path with my own handy hint. If followed, I hope it will make a dent in those heating costs. Its based on my own observations and is grounded in human physiology rather than physics.
You must have noticed that we all have different tolerances to heat and cold. I went on a work visit the other day to a flat where I would have had to have been a naturist to tolerate the heat. Yet there was an elderly lady swathed in sweaters and complaining that it was a bit chilly. And my lovely friend Salty Dog provides another example. This girl hales from the Northern reaches of the UK but now spends most of her life yachting in hotter climes in temperatures that I'd personally find unbearable. She's making a brief visit back to Devon later this month and no doubt, when I see her, she'll be freezing cold on what I view as a balmy autumn day and shrouded in woolies.
Blimey, this post is long! So, where's it leading? Well, to sum up, our bodies have a clever propensity to adapt to temperature change - if we let them. By turning up the heat or add extra layers when we're feeling just a bit chilly we don't naturally acclimatise ourselves to cooler weather. My tip: Step away from the central heating controller and the jumper drawer and allow yourself to shiver a little. You might even burn a little more body fat as an added dieting bonus!