It has often been said that the feet are usually the most neglected parts of the body. This has probably something to do with the fact that they are at the lower extremities of the body, at the very far end of the head. It is this same degree of neglect that causes us to notice them only when there is something different about them, such as when they are cold.
Cold feet is more pronounced during the winter season for obvious reasons, but suffering from this condition may also happen throughout the year. When the average temperature in your immediate environment dips, such as when there is heavy snowfall or when the air conditioner is set to a really low temperature, the nerves and blood vessels in the body tend to constrict. This in turn limits the amount of blood circulation in the body, resulting in reduced body heat. Since the feet are at the farthest end away from the heart, they tend to get much colder than the rest of the body.
Cold feet as symptoms of illness
Depending on your level of activity, having cold feet can either be mildly uncomfortable to severely debilitating. This condition should not be ignored for a few important reasons.
First, if you are suffering from chronically cold feet, then now is as good a time as any to visit a doctor. Studies have shown that cold feet may be indicative of a cardiovascular problem affecting blood vessels or the body’s circulation. In certain cases, cold feet can also be symptomatic of certain ailments, such as diabetes.
Second, keeping the feet warm and dry is essential for hygiene purposes. As mentioned earlier, the feet are the parts of the body that tend to get the least attention. You don’t want to compound this problem by ignoring cold feet and consequently suffering from other conditions, such as fungal growth or bacterial infection. Keeping the feet warm and dry is one way of making sure that they are clean and that they function at optimal levels.
There is a number of things that you can do on your own to prevent cold feet or at least reduce the discomfort they bring.
9 steps on keeping your feet warm and cozy
The following are just some of the things that you can do to keep your feet warm during the winter or even on other days of the year:
- When the temperature dips, wear socks. Or extra socks even. But consider the fabric of the socks you are wearing because as it turns out, not all socks are created equal. Cotton socks, for example, are considered a no-no when it comes to cold feet. This is because cotton does not really work well to retain heat. Worse, it absorbs sweat and moisture, making the feet feel even colder.
Experts suggest using socks made of wool, particularly merino wool. The reason behind this is that wool is known to have a heat-retaining feature, which is certainly helpful in providing better insulation to the feet.
- Use thermal socks, which are specially designed to keep the feet warm and dry. Often used by people who spend time outdoors during the winter, such as skiers and lumberjacks, thermal socks have a much higher thermal overall grade compared to ordinary socks.
Thermal socks are unique because they infuse technology to guarantee ‘moisture wicking’ abilities and superior insulation against the cold. This means heat is retained inside, thereby providing warmth and comfort to the wearer – check out our thorough review of the best thermal socks out there.
- Always bring an extra pair of socks. Even during the cold season, our feet still tend to sweat. If you are wearing, say, cotton socks, the sweat and moisture will in effect be absorbed by the sock fabric, thereby making you feel even colder. If your socks are feeling a little soggy, having an extra pair handy will do the trick.
- Soak the feet in a bowl of warm water. If you are particularly feeling cold, a great way to warm up your lower extremities is by soaking them in a bowl of warm water. Doing this will relax the nerves and the blood vessels, allowing for the blood to flow with greater ease and bring up the body’s heat level.
- If you have to go out in the snow, go for winter foot beds. These are things you put on the sole of your shoes to prevent the cold from seeping through. Winter footbeds are great because they provide protection from the cold and moisture of your immediate surroundings.
- Refrain from drinking caffeinated drinks. This might not seem to make a lot of sense for people whose primary defense against the cold is to drink a steaming cup of coffee or tea, but doing this does not really help. Studies show that caffeine constricts blood vessels, which means there is reduced blood circulation, thereby reducing the body’s heat. Constricted blood vessels during the cold season is almost certainly going to result in cold feet. If having your cup of Joe in the morning cannot be helped, consider reducing your daily caffeine intake.
- Get to a good and warm start by placing your socks in the dryer for 10 minutes before you wear them. Having warm socks under your feet will instantly make you feel better. And although such warmth is not going to last that long, having a warm start makes for an easy way to sort of acclimatize your feet to your surroundings.
- Exercise. Getting up and moving your body around will pump up your circulation, resulting in more body heat. The warmer your body feels, the less cold your feet are. Exercising during the winter is particularly a good way to keep your body active, even if you are doing it inside the comfort of your own home.
- And finally, consider massaging your feet with foot cream or lotion. Making long and gentle strokes on your feet with your hands helps in relaxing the muscles and in improving blood circulation. The more freely the blood flows, the warmer the body becomes. You can do this either before going out, while staying in, or before going to bed.
Suffering from cold feet need not be an uncomfortable or hopeless situation. As enumerated above, there are actually a number of practical tips that you can use in your day to day activities either to do away with cold feet altogether or reduce the discomfort they bring.
Essentially, however, having thermal socks will go a long way in keeping your feet warm and dry. These are not your usual socks that do little in keeping the cold away. Thermal socks are designed to keep as much heat as possible inside, which is precisely why they are the socks of choice for people who do not wish to risk suffering from cold feet while out in the snow.
Thermal socks make for a good addition to your winter wardrobe because they provide an effective insulation from the winter cold. They are not called heat holders without a good reason. Often made from heavy bulk yarn, they provide comfort and support even in harsh winter conditions. They are a must-have for anyone who refuse to be bothered by cold feet.
So the next time your feet feel cold, grab those socks and warm your day up.