How to Increase Your Body Temperature

If you live in a temperate or colder climate, you’re likely all too familiar with chilly weather.

Drafty windows, insufficient home heating, and working outside can all contribute to body aches, cold fingertips, and even lowered body temperature.

Humans self-regulate body temperature with the hypothalamus, a part of that brain that compares your current internal temperature to your body’s “normal” temperature — typically between 97°F (36.1°C) and 99°F (37.2°C).

When your temperature starts to drop below what’s normal for you, your body gets the signal to generate heat.

Unless you’re experiencing hypothermia, your core temperature is typically pretty stable. But your skin temperature — how your fingers, toes, legs, arms, and forehead feel — may start to go down as cold air steals heat from your body.

It’s possible for your body to get so cold that your core temperature is affected. This can harm your body and is considered a medical emergency. Read on for some ways to help increase your body temperature.

What can I eat to warm myself up?

There are also some foods and beverages you can consume to warm yourself up.

Hot tea or coffee

A warm, soothing beverage can warm up your body quickly, even feeling warm as you swallow it.

Steam from a hot tea or coffee can also add warmth to your face, and holding a warm mug helps heat your hands, too.

Soup

Eating soup can have a similar effect to tea or coffee, warming up your body as you eat it.

Roasted veggies

Eating foods rich in fibre that take longer to digest might help you feel warmer.

Roasted sweet potatoesbutternut squash, or cauliflower can warm you up in the short term as you bake them and also keep you feeling full and warmed up as you digest.

Protein and fats

Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, and your body needs a layer of body fat that’s best derived from fats and proteins.

Eating nutsavocadosseedsolivessalmon, or hard-boiled eggs may not warm you up instantly, but including them regularly in your diet is good for your overall health.

Iron

Eating foods that contain iron can reduce your chance of being anaemic. Anaemia leads to feeling cold more often, so upping your iron intake through food sources doesn’t hurt.

Shellfishred meatbeans, and broccoli are all high in iron.

Calorie-dense foods

Spending time in colder temperatures indoors and out may cause your body to need more caloriesTrusted Source.

While it should not be an excuse to indulge during the winter months, eating nutritious, calorie-dense foods may help you stay a little warmer during the colder months.

What are some other tips for increasing your body temperature?

Stay close to someone else

If it’s safe (and comfortable) to do so, share body heat with someone else. The warm breath and heat of another human being within arm’s reach can help keep your core body temperature from dropping too low.

Take a warm bath

A quick way to raise your internal temperature is hydro-immersion therapy — better known as taking a bath.

While a shower can help warm your body, a bath that covers your chest area is shownTrusted Source to elevate your core temperature.

As an added bonus is it may improve your blood pressure and help you sleep if you take a bath before bedtime.

Change into warm clothes

If you’re coming in from being outside, your clothes may feel damp from wintry weather.

An easy trick is to run your dryer with a fresh set of clothes for 5 minutes and change out of your outside clothes and into dry, cozy clean ones.

Why does your body temperature decrease?

The average body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C). But you should know that “normal core body temperature” varies slightly from person to person.

It’s not a specific number but rather a range of what’s thought to be healthy. Any temperature from 97°F (36.1°C) and 99°F (37.2°C) can be considered normal.

And a cold environment isn’t the only reason that your core temperature may decrease, regardless of your normal body temperature. Here are some possible reasons for decreases in body temperature.

Illness

Health conditions may cause you to feel a change to your core temperature. A bacterial or viral infection can cause fluctuations in your body temperature as your body fights off germs.

If you’re feeling cold all the time, anaemia or hypothyroidism could be the cause.

Drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol may make you feel warmerTrusted Source, but it doesn’t increase your core body temperature.

Drinking alcohol will make you less aware of the actual temperature of your environment and may actually impact your body’s ability to thermoregulate.

Aging

As we age, our core body temperature sometimes gets lower as a natural part of the process. For adults over the age of 65, normal body temperature typically trusted Source falls below 98.6°F (37°C).

How can I prevent myself from getting cold?

Here are some steps you can take to prevent getting cold in the first place:

  • Dress in layers.
  • Use heating pads or an electric blanket when you’re relaxing at home, and hand warmers when you’re outside.
  • Wear warm socks and slippers around your home.
  • Close off rooms you aren’t using, close vents, and close curtains or blinds to maximize the heat in your living space.
  • Drink warm beverages, like hot tea.
  • Try using a draft-dodger for drafty doors.
  • Bring a lap blanket when you’re a passenger on a car trip.

The takeaway

Even if you feel a chill, your core body temperature is probably within normal range. It’s when your body shows symptoms of hypothermia that you need to be concerned.

If you’ve got no choice but to be exposed to lower temperatures, get resourceful with physical activity, your diet, and mental exercises to feel warmer.

Article courtesy of healthline