Author Archives: Jim

Reasons You Always Feel Cold (and what to do about it)

always feel coldWhen you are always cold regardless of the temperature or season, life can be a bit more challenging. For example, your performance at school or work could suffer due to an inability to concentrate, and you may find it virtually impossible to get comfortable enough to sleep soundly every night. In addition, you might also restrict yourself from certain activities such as skiing or snowboarding for fear of being too cold to enjoy the outing.

Pinpointing the root cause of your temperature sensitivity can go a long way towards helping you manage the condition; unfortunately, there are a large number of possible triggers to consider. Here are a few of the most common ones:

Medical factors

Cause: You have a very low BMI. This often means you don’t have enough body fat to provide adequate insulation against the cold and/or your metabolism is too slow to generate adequate body heat.
Cure: Check with your doctor about embarking on a weight gain program featuring lots of healthy proteins and fats.

Cause: You suffer from hypothyroidism, a disorder in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. Greater sensitivity to cold is one symptom of this condition.
Cure: After being diagnosed by a doctor, you will likely begin a regimen of hormone therapy to regulate your body’s hormone levels.

Cause: You have Raynaud’s Syndrome, in which the arteries near your extremities spasm, leaving your fingers and toes feeling cold and numb.
Cure: Mild forms of the disease can be treated by wearing warm clothing, such as battery heated gloves or socks, while the severest forms may require chemical injections or nerve surgery.

Environmental factors

Cause: The furnace in your home is set too low.
Cure: To warm up without increasing your heating bill, try using electric blankets on your bed, electric throws on your sofa and armchairs, and heated towel warmers in your bathroom.

Cause: You work in an office that is too cold for comfort.
Cure: Install a radiant heating panel under your desk to keep your legs warm, use a heated footrest for your feet and toes, or try a compact, energy-saving space heater that fits on your desktop.

Cause: You don’t bundle up enough for the temperature or weather conditions.
Cure: Wearing multiple layers and covering up with Gerbing Gyde heated clothing, including vests, fleeces, shells, gloves, and pants, can protect you from even the harshest winter elements.

These are only a handful of the possible medical and environmental factors that could be causing you to feel cold all the time. If you suspect you suffer from a serious medical condition, see your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible. Otherwise, try one of the suggested cures listed here to warm up at work or at home.

Prepare Your Business for Winter

winter_stormWinter storms can disrupt businesses of all sizes, but are particularly bad for smaller entities that don’t have the financial or human resources to form a rapid response to severe weather. Being caught unprepared for a sudden snowstorm can leave businesses vulnerable to everything from slip-and-fall accident claims to structural damage to the facilities. That’s why small business owners are encouraged to prepare early for the coming winter by doing the following:

  • Inspect the roof and gutters for problems in need of immediate repairs. Ensure that all drains and spouts are free of debris so melting snow has a clear path to the ground.
  • Walk around the property after dark to confirm that all parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and entrances are adequately lighted.
  • Mark parking lot and ground features that may become obscured or hidden due to heavy snowfall. These may include things like speed bumps, fire hydrants, car stops, curbs, shrubs, and anything else that could cause damage to vehicles or injuries to pedestrians.
  • Formulate a response plan to winter storms and emergencies that includes provisions for snow and ice removal, generators and other backup power sources, and evacuation routes for employees. Post the plan in the cafeteria or break room, and distribute a copy to all employees.
  • Install industrial carpeting, mats, and/or runners near entrances and in lobbies to absorb moisture and ward off indoor slip-and-fall incidents.
  • Provide all employees with ice cleats for extra traction when walking or working outdoors and to reduce the chances of accidents and subsequent worker’s compensation claims.
  • Review your insurance policies to confirm that property coverage is adequate and up to date. If necessary, take photos of your offices, warehouse, and inventory to help facilitate replacement in the event of a claim.

Taking the time to prepare your small business for winter can help you avoid disruptions to ordinary operations, damage to property and inventory, and negligence lawsuits. Start protecting your business now by implementing the tips listed here so you’ll be ready for whatever winter weather comes your way.

Quick Tips for a Great Family Ski Trip

family skiingTaking a family ski trip can be a fun and exciting way to break up the otherwise monotonous days of winter. But as all good parents know, any activity involving children must be carefully planned out beforehand in order to avoid potential problems that could spoil the whole day. So before you book accommodations and buy lift tickets, check out these quick tips for having a great family ski trip:

  1. Choose a ski resort with the facilities and amenities best suited to your familys needs. Not all resorts cater to the same kind of clientele, so you’ll need to do some research to verify that your desired destination is geared towards families. Depending on your children’s ages and experience levels, this could mean anything from offering free entry for kids and child-friendly lifts to having wide terrain, gentle slopes, toboggan runs, or supervision/babysitting available to guests.
  2. Dress for the weather. The quickest way to derail a fun day on the slopes is to be underdressed for the elements, so be sure to check the local forecast regularly and prepare accordingly. Layering is always a smart move, especially when you combine base garments with Gerbing Gyde battery heated jackets, fleece vests, and gloves. Battery heated clothing is ideal for children because of the ability to manage the heat output and make adjustments up or down as the day becomes colder or warmer.
  3. Have the kids take lessons before sending them out on the slopes. If your kids are relatively inexperienced, then the first order of business should be to enroll them in the resort’s ski school. Beginner’s lessons can last anywhere from one to two hours, and will give your kids enough technique and confidence to tackle the bunny hill on solo runs for the rest of the day.
  4. Be willing to cut the day short if need be. No parent wants to admit defeat, especially after ski and boot rentals and lift tickets have been paid for. But if things clearly aren’t going well—due to bad weather, general crankiness, or similar reasons—and aren’t likely to improve quickly, be willing to call it a day and return to the lodge or home earlier than expected. You might lose out on some cash, but preserving everyone’s sanity and preventing injuries is more important in the end.

Before booking your next family ski trip, take the time to research resorts, order Gerbing Gyde battery heated apparel from CozyWinters, and schedule lessons first. Doing these things, along with being flexible with your expectations, will help ensure your family has a trip to remember.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Halloween pet safety tipsThere’s no question that Halloween is an exciting time for kids—and even many adults. After all, it’s a day filled with free candy, awesome costumes, spooky decorations, and great parties, so what’s not to love?

But all of this extra activity can be very stressful for pets and could lead to some dangerous scenarios, which is why we urge you to take the following precautions for keeping your dog or cat safe this Halloween:

  • Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag on at all times in case he manages to escape from the house or yard during the general commotion.
  • Keep all treats, especially those containing dark chocolate, baking chocolate, or the artificial sweetener xylitol, well out of reach of pets.
  • Consider keeping your pet crated or closed off in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat hours to lessen the anxiety caused by a constantly ringing doorbell and endless parade of strangers. You might also try turning on a TV or radio near the pet to mask all the noise from trick-or-treaters.
  • Never leave an unsupervised dog or cat alone in a room filled with Halloween decorations as the pet might knock over candles, choke on fake cobwebs and rubber spiders, or be tempted to chew through electrical cords.
  • If dressing your pet in a costume, make sure the garment fits properly and doesn’t impair vision, prohibit barking or meowing, or interfere with free movement.
  • Bring outdoor pets inside for the night (or at the very least, keep them in the garage) to minimize the chances of them being targeted by pranksters.
  • Look up the emergency vet’s contact information as well as the animal poison control helpline number, and keep them on hand just in case.

Don’t let worries about your pet’s health and safety get in the way of Halloween fun this year. Take these precautions into consideration and implement the ones that apply to your household so the whole family can enjoy this spookiest of days!

Prep Your Dorm Room for Winter

heated-mattress-pad_HTypical college dorm rooms and apartments rarely meet anyone’s idea of a cozy living space, especially in winter. Thanks to drafty windows, bare floors, and a glitchy heater that either runs way too hot or not at all, dorms can be downright miserable once outdoor temperatures begin to dip.

Fortunately, you don’t have to let things get to that point. With a few choice heated accessories and a little extra time, you can convert the room to a warm and inviting place that will be the hit of the entire building. Here’s how to do it:

  • Put a heated floor mat under the area rugs in the room to help keep your feet warm when you’re walking around.
  • Use a heated mattress pad (we even have extra-long twin sizes to accommodate most dorm beds) so you can sleep comfortably through the night without having to turn up the thermostat. This is a terrific option for green campuses or for anyone that wants to save some money on winter heating bills.
  • Cover drafty windows with insulating film or bubble wrap to block out cold air while keeping in warm air. Or if your budget allows, invest in some heavy curtains to achieve the same effect in a more decorative package.
  • Run a piece of weather-stripping tape along the bottom of all doors to further seal the room against cold drafts. If you’re crafty, you can try your hand at DIY draft stoppers.
  • Keep a heated electric throw at your desk, chair, or futon so you can stay nice and toasty while reading, studying, talking with friends, or watching a movie.
  • While it may not have an effect on the temperature, string lights or other holiday décor can be the perfect touch to give your dorm room that warm and cozy feeling.

Remember, winter break only gets you out of the dorm for a few short weeks. So to make the rest of the season tolerable, follow these tips for prepping your dorm room before the cold and nasty weather sets in.

Employers Can’t Afford to Ignore Winter Safety Hazards

cautionAlthough winter is still a couple of months away, it’s never too early for employers to begin making plans to deal with the safety hazards caused by the season’s abundance of ice and snow. Poor traction and slick surfaces in particular are two concerns that employers simply cannot afford to ignore, as these conditions are leading causes of slip-and-fall accidents that can negatively impact businesses. The average slip and fall injury costs a business $28,000, according to the Bureau of Labor. Costs due to these injuries can add up in the following ways:

  • Direct workers compensation payouts
  • Lost employee work days
  • Decreased on-the-job productivity for injured workers
  • Lower employee morale
  • Possible litigation and punitive damages
  • Legal fees and court costs
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Lost business if victim is a client, customer, or other visitor to the facility

All of the above can happen as the result of a single incident, which is why preventive measures must be taken well before the first snowstorm and why swift responses to inclement weather are required throughout the winter. Some of the most effective actions for avoiding potential slip-and-fall claims include:

  • Mandating the use of ice cleats for all employees that work outdoors
  • Making ice cleats or other traction devices available for office employees that must occasionally walk outside for considerable distances (e.g. across campus or through an airport parking lot)
  • Removing snow from walkways and sprinkling salt on exposed surfaces to melt ice
  • Eliminating uneven surfaces in parking lots and on sidewalks
  • Placing floor mats or carpeting inside doorways to absorb snow, ice, and debris from employees’ footwear

Providing safe winter walking gear for employees and visitors is clearly in everyone’s best interest, not only for avoiding all the detrimental outcomes listed here but also for preventing sprains, broken bones, and other serious injuries. So check out the variety of ice cleats and stabilizers we have on sale now at CozyWinters, and be sure to inquire about volume pricing deals for larger orders.

Early Prep for Ski Season

prepare for ski seasonAt most major ski resorts in the US, the official start of the season tends to fall somewhere in mid to late November—still a couple months away. But if you wait for Thanksgiving or the sight of snow on the ground to begin prepping for ski season, chances are you’ll find yourself scrambling to fix broken gear, buy new apparel or equipment, and book lift tickets and lodging before the choice dates sell out.

In that kind of rush something important invariably gets overlooked, which can lead to a miserable time on the slopes or even missing out entirely on prime skiing days. To prevent either of these fiascos from ruining what should be the best time of the year, here are 5 things you can do to prep for ski season right now:

  • Take your equipment out of storage and inspect it for fit, wear, and damage. Even if you took the time to store your skis, board, boots, goggles, and poles in accordance with manufacturer recommendations, some unforeseen mishap might have occurred in the past several months. Now is a good time to visually inspect your ski equipment, and repair or replace gear as necessary.
  • Try on your ski apparel to ensure everything still fits properly. Ski jackets and pants that felt fine last season might be too snug or too roomy if you’ve gained or lost weight in the past year. In addition, growing children will likely need new apparel, and discovering this early enough will allow you to take advantage of pre-season sales. You may also wish to upgrade from regular ski apparel to Gerbing Gyde heated jackets and gloves, available at, to help you stay warm even in the coldest conditions.
  • Get your fitness program going. Skiing is much more fun (not to mention bearable) when you’re physically fit enough to handle the challenges associated with spending a whole day on the slopes. If you’ve been letting your exercise program slide, get back on the ball by running, biking, performing squats and lunges, and doing planks and other moves targeting your lower body and core.
  • Sign up for a refresher lesson or two. If you’re still a novice or recreational skier, it’s probably a good idea to sign up for a couple of lessons before tackling the slopes on your own. This will help refresh your memory on form and technique, as well as give you the confidence you need to handle tougher mountains and trails.
  • Buy your lift tickets and lodging in advance. This tip applies primarily to folks intending to ski at the most popular resorts in the country or at smaller resorts during peak weekends. If you already know that you’ll be in Park City or Breckenridge on certain dates, or that your family will only be able to get away during Christmas break, then plan accordingly and try booking tickets and lodging as soon as the resort starts accepting reservations.

Even though it’s still September, ski season is getting closer by the day. Make sure you’re ready for it by getting a jump on the early prep work listed above.

Why Cats Love Sunlight & Heat

cat sunlight heated pet bedEvery cat owner is familiar with the way their feline companion craves heat. Whether it’s snoozing in a narrow beam of sunlight, curling up on a laptop keyboard, or nestling inside a cardboard box, your pet naturally gravitates toward the warmest spot in the room. As it turns out, there are specific biological reasons that explain why cats love sunlight and heat.

  • Cats have higher heat tolerance than humans. The average body temperature of a healthy cat is around 101 degrees, and they don’t begin to feel pain from heat until the temperature rises to 126 degrees. This greater tolerance for heat not only allows them to cope better when temperatures soar, but also prompts them to seek external warmth to maintain their 101-degree equilibrium.
  • Cats are predators. From stealthily stalking a bird or mouse to waiting patiently for just the right moment to pounce on unsuspecting prey, cats use their brains far more than their brawn. This brain activity consumes tons of energy; so any help cats get in the form of external heat is energy they can divert from simply warming the body to powering more complex functions.
  • Cats have turbo-charged metabolisms. Metabolic processes such as maintaining body temperature, digesting food, and preserving a healthy coat all require a constant influx of energy. Again, cats can conserve some of their energy expenditure by using external heat sources like sunlight and heated pet beds to help warm their bodies and keep their metabolism running more efficiently.

Now that you understand a bit more about why your cat seeks warmth, you can make its life a lot easier by placing heated cat pads or heated pet beds in strategic places throughout your home. Check out CozyWinters today to view our indoor and outdoor heated pet products that will help keep your cat warm and snug in every season.

8 Ways to Save on Your Utility Bills

save on utility bills water heating winterNow that summer is just about in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. While at first the change will feel like a welcome relief from the months of heat and humidity you’ve been suffering through, you’ll eventually find yourself seeking effective ways to warm up. In the past this might have meant spending a bunch of money to heat your home and water—but that doesn’t have to be the case going forward. Check out these eight terrific tips for trimming your utility bill in the colder months:

Saving on water bills

  • Lower the temperature setting of your water heater to a maximum of 120 degrees (or less, if you can stand it). This will warm the water sufficiently for showers and other uses while saving 10% or more on heating costs.
  • Take shorter showers. The math here is simple: the less time you spend in the shower, the less water you use and the less you pay, so get in, wash up, and get out.
  • Install a Warmrails heated towel rack in the bathroom. A heated towel rack thoroughly dries towels to keep them mold and mildew free, thereby eliminating the need for frequent, or daily laundering.
  • Run the clothes washer and dishwasher only when you have full loads, and use the cold or warm water settings (as opposed to hot) whenever possible.

Saving on heating bills

  • Use electric blankets or heated mattress pads to warm the bed at night. This will allow you to turn the thermostat way down or completely off and save money on overnight heating costs.
  • Switch your ceiling fans to the winter setting to make the blades rotate clockwise or reverse of their summer direction. The clockwise spin pushes warm air all the way up against the ceiling where it will then be forced to recirculate back down into the room.
  • Place heated floor mats under the area rugs in your home to provide targeted warmth in occupied rooms. Under area rug heated floor mats are a far more energy efficient warming method for the living room, media room, and home office than heating the entire house for the sake of one or two people.
  • Check the caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows, and make sure the attic insulation is up to snuff. A poorly insulated home is extremely costly to heat because cold air is constantly coming in while warm air is always leaking out.

Check out the CozyWinters website to order the heated towel warming racks, electric blankets, heated mattress pads, and under area rug warming mats mentioned above and use the other money-saving ideas from this post to start prepping your home for the long winter to come.

5 Amazing Motorcycle Rides and Destinations in America

motorcycle tripWhile motorcycles can serve as a fun and economical form of daily transportation, that’s not why most people buy them. The real reason we buy them is so we can spend hours (or days or weeks) cruising along scenic highways featuring plenty of twists, turns, and natural beauty. Fortunately, the US is filled with amazing motorcycle rides and destinations, including the following five favorites:

  1. Pacific Coast Highway: Immortalized in countless films and TV shows, the PCH begins in Monterey and extends 123 miles to Morro Bay. Along the way, you’ll be treated to unbeatable views of looming cliffs and the Pacific Ocean, with the opportunity to stop at Big Sur, Hearst Castle, and other notable places.
  1. Beartooth Pass: This 68-mile stretch of highway spanning from Montana to Wyoming is situated atop the Northern Rockies at an altitude of 10,947 feet, allowing you to see alpine plateaus, glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, and dense forests as you maneuver around the numerous switchbacks that ultimately lead to Yellowstone. At this height, it would be smart to wear a heated motorcycle jacket and heated gloves to keep warm on the ride. CozyWinters now carries several styles of Gerbing Gyde lightweight jackets with multiple heat settings, as well as leather, cowhide, or premium twill gloves that offer supplemental heating without sacrificing dexterity. And if you choose the optional Thermogauge Bluetooth adapter, you can control the heat settings of all your Gerbing Gyde apparel through a single Smartphone app for unbeatable ease and convenience.
  1. Coastal Highway 1: Those with a hankering to explore quaint towns and shops, sample fresh-from-the-water seafood, and photograph lighthouses that date back to the 1790s must head all the way east to travel along the 170-mile expanse of Coastal Highway 1 from Kittery to Bucksport, ME.
  1. Blue Ridge Parkway: One of the slowest (45 mph speed limit), smoothest, and most relaxing rides on this list, the Blue Ridge Parkway winds through historic Civil War battlefields in Virginia on up to the dazzling heights of the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Those riders feeling more adventurous can easily continue on to Deal’s Gap and the infamous Tail of the Dragon, with its heart-pumping 318 curves in just 11 miles of road.
  1. Route 66: Arguably the most iconic ride on this list, Route 66, which begins in Chicago, IL, and goes across eight states to Santa Monica, CA, is a dream for anyone interested in all things Americana. From kitschy museums and attractions such as the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, AZ, or the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, TX, to ‘50s style diners and modern steakhouses, you’ll experience a road trip like no other as you make your way to the “end of the trail” at Santa Monica Pier.