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Category Archives: Winter Tips

5 Reasons to Go Outside This Winter

family in snowIf winter isn’t your favorite season, then you probably need lots of coaxing to even consider venturing outdoors. After all, what possible benefit could there be to leaving the soft, luxurious warmth of your heated electric throw or the soothing coziness of your heated mattress pad only to endure the freezing temperatures, biting wind, and gloomy skies that are all too common in February?

Well, as it turns out, there are actually numerous benefits associated with making an effort to spend more time outside this winter. Here are five of the most important ones:

  • Getting out of your home or office can alleviate feelings of cabin fever and help reduce stress.
  • Taking a short walk and breathing in some fresh air has been shown to clear the mind, improve focus, and increase both creativity and cognitive ability.
  • Exercising outdoors in winter is more challenging than exercising indoors, which can result in better workouts, a higher calorie burn, and greater energy levels throughout the day. Just be sure to dress appropriately for your activity and wear battery heated gloves or other heated apparel to retain body heat.
  • Going outdoors on sunny days not only stimulates vitamin D production, which is essential for strong bones, but also helps combat the “winter blues” (aka Seasonal Affective Disorder).
  • Spending quality outdoor time with your kids will create memories that last a lifetime. They won’t remember that PS4 game they received for Christmas and played for two weeks, but they will always remember the snowmen you build, the snowball fights you have, and the wild rides that you take together down the local sledding hill.

Sitting in front of a crackling fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate while the winds swirl and the snow falls is a perfectly acceptable and altogether appealing winter pastime—as long as you don’t let it become your only winter activity. Be sure to go outside for a short time every day (or at least several times a week) so you can enjoy all the invigorating benefits listed here.

Cold Weather Activity Tips

running snowIf you find it hard to stay motivated to move in winter, you’re not alone. The low temperatures, icy conditions, and short daylight hours combine to derail many a New Year’s resolution or fitness program for folks living in colder climates, especially among those that prefer outdoor activities to indoor substitutes. But you don’t have to resign yourself to the treadmill or wait until spring comes to resume your active lifestyle; just try these tips instead:

Check the weather forecast for the duration of your activity and prepare accordingly.

Although the weather is not likely to change much over the course of a 30-minute walk, you cannot say the same for an activity slated to last several hours or the whole day. Winter storms can brew quickly and unexpectedly, so keep your weather app fired up on your phone and check it frequently while you’re out.

Dress for the activity as well as the weather.

While layers are always a smart idea, the number and kind of layers needed for skiing or snowboarding are quite different from what’s needed for shoveling the driveway. For example, whereas you’d love having our Zanier HEAT-GTX Heated Ski Gloves for the former activities, our battery heated glove liners would be sufficient for the latter.

Similarly, you’ll require more layers and warming products if you’re planning to be a spectator rather than a participant, so consider packing a heated seat cushion if you’ll be spending lots of time sitting and watching.

Keep safety in mind at all times.

Whatever activity you choose to participate in, it’s important to keep safety uppermost in your mind. So, if you’re driving somewhere, make sure your vehicle’s emergency kit is well stocked. If you’re going hiking or skiing on little used trails, take a GPS device, your smartphone, and extra food and water with you. Try to use the buddy system for all outdoor activities, or at the very least, let someone know where you’re headed and when you plan to return—even if you’re just going for a run around your neighborhood. In addition, consider breaking up your activity into smaller chunks of time (for example, two 15-minute walks instead of one 30-minute walk) to limit exposure to the cold.

Don’t take unnecessary risks.

If the weather is particularly inclement or the temperatures are dangerously cold, it’s perfectly okay to stay indoors until things clear up. At that point, snuggling on the couch with your favorite CozyWinters electric throw would be preferable to risking life and limb for the sake of burning a few extra calories.


Staying active in the cold is doable when you pay attention to the weather forecast, make battery heated apparel from CozyWinters part of your layering system, and always keep safety in mind, so make this your mantra for the next few months!

Tips for Raynaud’s Sufferers

Raynaud-hand2Raynaud’s disease (or Raynaud’s phenomenon) is a condition in which poor blood flow to the extremities results in coldness or numbness in the fingers and/or toes. Cold temperatures and stress exacerbate the effects, which means Raynaud’s sufferers can be especially uncomfortable in winter. And while the causes of the condition are not well understood, many treatment options are available, including prescription medication and, in the most severe cases, nerve surgery. Home remedies may also be effective in controlling symptoms, with the following management tips for Raynaud’s particularly encouraged:

  • Refrain from using tobacco products and do not expose yourself to secondhand cigarette smoke.
  • Limit or completely eliminate caffeine from your diet, as some studies have shown that this stimulant may restrict blood flow to the heart, brain, and extremities.
  • Protect fingers and toes when going outdoors in winter by wearing battery heated socks or gloves. Unlike ordinary gloves and socks, the battery heated apparel we have at CozyWinters come with variable heat settings that allow you to instantly crank up the warmth if temperatures drop unexpectedly.
  • Use heated slippers when walking around in the house to keep your toes warm even on cold flooring.
  • Replace ordinary blankets with electric blankets for consistent warming power all night long.
  • Consider using a heated foot warmer near your favorite couch or armchair and a heated floor mat in the kitchen to protect feet when relaxing or cooking.
  • When cooking, protect hands from cold or frozen meats and vegetables by wearing a thin pair of cotton gloves underneath a pair of disposable food preparation gloves. You can also keep a bowl of warm water standing by in case the gloves are not enough and you need to quickly warm your hands.
  • Soak hands and feet in warm water when you feel a flareup coming on, and then follow with a soothing moisturizer to prevent skin from cracking.
  • Monitor the frequency and severity of symptoms and flareups, and see your doctor if your condition begins to worsen.

If you suffer from Raynaud’s disease, you know how challenging it can be to complete even simple tasks like making dinner, going out for fresh air, or merely sleeping soundly through a winter’s night. Still, there are a variety of things you can do to manage your symptoms and live more comfortably, so give the above suggestions a try to prevent or alleviate future flareups.

Prevent Cold Stress With These Tips

cold stress blogEvery winter, OSHA issues warnings about the dangers of cold stress, a condition caused by extended exposure to a combination of low temperatures, strong wind, and dampness/wetness.

Cold stress can take a variety of forms, but is usually characterized by shivering, tingling or loss of feeling in the extremities, loss of coordination, and confusion or disorientation. Depending on the length of exposure and severity of symptoms, cold stress can result in hypothermia, frostbite, and trench foot.

If you work outdoors, you can help prevent cold stress by taking proper precautions, including the following:

  • Check the day’s weather report before leaving home so you can have the latest information regarding temperature, wind chill, and projected storms.
  • Dress appropriately for the conditions you expect to face. Layering is always recommended in winter, and can be supplemented with battery heated clothing for additional warmth or waterproof gear to protect against snow and rain.
  • Take special care of your extremities with the help of battery heated gloves and heated socks to prevent frostbite.
  • Sip on warm, caffeine-free beverages or soups to maintain body temperature and energy levels.
  • Take frequent breaks indoors or in a sheltered area to give your body a chance to warm up and/or dry off.
  • Work in pairs whenever possible. If working alone, be sure to let someone know where you are and check in at regular intervals via cell phone or walkie-talkie to confirm your safety and well-being.
  • Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of hypothermia, frostbite, and general cold stress so you can recognize them when they begin to occur.
  • Know the treatment protocols for dealing with affected individuals while waiting for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene.

Whether plowing snow, working on a road crew, or repairing electrical lines, any kind of job that takes you outdoors in winter has the potential to result in cold stress. Stay safe by dressing for the weather, using battery heated apparel to protect your core and extremities, and employing the above tips where applicable.

How to Winterize Your Car

snow car helpThe subzero temperatures that hit most of the country from December to February are hard on the human body. This is why so many people use heated mattress pads and electric blankets on their beds and wear Gerbing Gyde heated apparel when they go outside in winter.

Well, those same freezing temperatures can be just as hard on cars, trucks, and SUVs, which is why your vehicle also requires special attention at this time of year. If you haven’t done so already, here’s how to winterize your car to protect it from the elements and keep it running smoothly:

  • Inspect your tires for visible signs of tread wear or other damage. If you drive in an area that gets a lot of snow, be sure to change your all-season tires to snow tires before the first storm.
  • Inflate all tires to the recommended level for winter driving as specified in your owner’s manual.
  • Confirm that your wiper blades are in excellent condition and replace if needed.
  • Check your vehicle’s critical oils and fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, and antifreeze, and top off or change as necessary.
  • Swap out your summer emergency kit for a winter version containing such things as sand or kitty litter to use for traction; battery-heated gloves and jacket; electric blanket or sleeping bag rated for subzero temperatures; and portable stove with fuel source.
  • Use heated seat pads or 12-volt heated travel throws in the cabin to keep the driver and passengers warm on longer trips.
  • Apply a rustproofing sealant to the undercarriage of your vehicle to protect against the damaging effects of road salt.

As we noted last week, many regions in the US are expected to experience colder than usual temperatures and above average precipitation this winter because of El Nino. Make sure your car is ready for the onslaught by winterizing it according to the tips listed here.

Winter Weather Forecast for 2015-2016

Winter Forecast 2015 2016Long-range weather predictions can be a useful tool for helping people prepare for unseasonal or extreme conditions. While these forecasts can never be 100 percent accurate, modern technology enables meteorologists to make very reasonable assumptions about what lies ahead. Based on these forecasts, residents in target areas will know in advance if they need to stock up on emergency supplies or get out their battery-heated clothing and ice cleats a little earlier than usual.

So what’s on tap weather-wise for the 2015-2016 winter season? Numerous sources, including the National Weather Service and the old-school Farmer’s Almanac, are predicting the following:

  • California will get more precipitation than usual—in the form of rain, snow, and ice—thanks in large part to El Nino. Thus it would be a good idea for business owners to buy ice cleats and other traction devices for employees not accustomed to navigating the slippery conditions.
  • Major cities in the Northeast such as Boston, Philadelphia, and New York are likely to experience an above average number of storms, so slip-and-fall prevention should be a key concern to employers in those areas as well.
  • Southwestern states like Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Texas could see unseasonably low temperatures along with more rain and even some snow. Battery-heated apparel, including fleeces and gloves, can help residents cope with the cold.
  • The Mid-Atlantic region, which encompasses parts of Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia, Georgia, and North and South Carolina, could be subject to severe wintry conditions and heavy ice storms. Folks in these areas should have a backup generator ready to go and make sure to use ice cleats and other appropriate safety gear when walking or working outdoors.

Of course, just because you don’t see your city, state, or region listed here among the major predictions doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. We recommend preparing for the worst even as you hope for the best, so visit the CozyWinters website today to start shopping for the heated apparel, electric blankets, and ice cleats you need to get through this El Nino-fueled winter.

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.

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.

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.

Think your industry’s employees don’t need ice cleats? Think again.

falling-on-iceFiguring out what kind of personal protective equipment employees need for a particular job is often a straightforward task. In fact, within most industries there’s very little guesswork involved. For example, hearing protection, safety glasses, steel-toed boots, and gloves are fairly standard issue for employees in manufacturing positions, while those in carpentry or construction jobs might also need a hardhat, high-visibility vest, and/or respiratory protection.

However, it can be a bit more difficult to determine which industry’s employees should be given ice cleats for the winter. That’s because we tend to think that only workers in outdoor jobs, such as mail or package delivery and landscaping, would benefit from the extra traction ice cleats provide.

But consider how frequently employees that have “desk jobs” are required to go outside in the winter as part of their ordinary duties. All of those offsite business meetings, trips to the post office, lunches and dinners with clients, and visits to trade shows and conferences put even corporate employees at risk for slip-and-fall accidents—leaving you, as the employer, potentially liable for workman’s compensation claims, increased insurance costs, and lost productivity.

To protect your employees and your business, we recommend ice cleats for the following types of workers:

  • Firefighters
  • Police officers and security guards
  • EMT personnel
  • Newspaper reporters and photographers
  • College and university staff (especially on large campuses located in areas that receive heavy snowfall)
  • Traveling salespeople
  • Frequent-flyer type executives

The goal here is to provide ice cleats for any employee that is required to leave the building and visit other locations during the workday. Since you can’t be sure that the other site has followed safety protocols in terms of shoveling snow and salting walkways to eliminate ice buildup, you’re better off giving your employees the means to protect themselves.

Now that you’re ready to purchase ice cleats for your employees, visit CozyWinters to check out all the different brands and styles we carry. We offer volume pricing on government and corporate orders, so get ready to stock up on winter footwear today.