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How to Stay Car-free This Winter

Going car-less isn’t usually too big a hassle during warmer months. Especially if you live in a larger city with access to public transport. It can be daunting, however, to trudge through the streets on foot once temperatures drop.

If you live in a region that receives extreme bouts of cold in the winter, and have mass transportation available to you, by all means use it. If this isn’t the case, and you must – either by preference or necessity – rely on cycling and walking this winter, then the following may be of use. More so if you are new to the predominately-ambulatory lifestyle.

Wear Your Under Armour

You might not hunt, but it is well worth it to invest in thermal underwear. It is thin enough to layer comfortably underneath your normal clothes, yet strong enough to fight off the wind and cold. Best of all, thermal pieces can fit beneath everyday garb without detection. So no one need know you are wearing them.

Get a Good Pair of Shoes

It may sound an obvious tip for pedestrians, but one crucial factor to ensuring comfort and safety during chilly excursions is to equip yourself with adequate footwear. This doesn’t just mean a tricked out pair of Nikes. When selecting proper footwear, you need to first know the terrain of the area in which you’ll be walking. Some soles are better suited to flat surfaces, others assist in migrating across hills, ice, or gravel. During the winter, you’ll likely do best with shoes that have cleats or ridges, regardless of whether an area is greatly rocky or smooth. Presumably, you’ll be facing hardened snow and icy paths either way.

Warm Yourself from the Inside Out

Fabric may help you fight off the wind and feel snug, but when faced with low temperatures you’ll need to ensure your core temperature is elevated enough to retain that warmth. An easy way to accomplish this is by ingesting a hot beverage. In addition to heat, coffee and non-herbal teas are good choices due to their caffeine content. When consumed at optimal amounts, caffeine can increase the heart-rate and core body temperature. This helps to lengthen the duration of winter-weather exposure you can withstand. Remember, when choosing a vessel for your brew, all thermos are not created equal. To ensure yours stays hot longer, you can “preheat” it by filling it with boiling water and allowing it to stand for 5-10 minutes. Ideally, reuse this water when brewing your choice beverage. Next,  fill it up with tea, coffee, cocoa, or soup. It won’t take long before the inner warmth seeps through and you feel an allover sensation of being enveloped in a glove.

Telecommute

You could also sidestep the above tips and limit your winter outings altogether. You’ll still need to be prepared for grocery runs and other errands. And of course you’ll want so submerse yourself into the fresh, crisp air on occasion. With online bill-pay and shopping, however, one may need only to venture into the cold for leisure.

To telecommute this winter, speak with your boss about the advantages of telecommuting, and propose to work partially or full-time from home during the winter. Ways in which this could benefit you and your company include a shorter commute time, and thus more time that you can dedicate to current tasks (this also ensures you never show up late to work), the ability to work when you are feeling under the weather, and the reduced amount of office space and resources the company will have to provide. Finally, it has been shown that employees who telecommute put more time into their work. This is often due to fewer office-related distractions, such as co-workers gossiping. Of course, if you have greater distractions at home, young children, pets, etc, then this will detract from your productive hours.

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