Is everyone in the office taking off their jackets while you are shivering under layers of scarves?
If so, you’re far from alone. If you feel like you are always shivering or if your hands and feet are constantly like ice, it may be time to investigate the possible causes.
You’re not exercising enough
It might be the last thing you feel like, but avoiding exercise because you’re cold actually makes you feel worse.
In a University of Georgia study, sedentary but otherwise healthy adults who began exercising lightly three days a week for just 20 minutes reported feeling less fatigued and more energised after six weeks.
This is because regular exercise makes your heart and lungs work more efficiently, delivering oxygen and vital nutrients around the body.
Reboot your energy: Next time you’re tempted to flop on the sofa, force yourself up for a brisk 10-minute walk – you’ll feel more alert for it.
You're too thin
Low body weight can make person a person chilly.
When you are underweight, you can lack an adequate amount of body fat which would insulate you from the cold.
If you aren't eating much food, then your metabolism may struggle to create enough heat.
Consider eating a varied and healthy diet containing whole, healthy foods that have protein, fat and carbohydrates.
You don’t sleep as well as you think
Recent research shows many of us survive on so-called ‘junk sleep’ – the kind when we wake up frequently throughout the night.
It doesn’t replenish our energy levels as well as long stretches of continuous sleep.This could cause a person to feel cold because their body is tired.
Junk sleep can be caused by stress, but also by over-stimulating the brain too close to bedtime.
For example, by checking emails or using tablets and smartphones that emit a blue light found to disrupt sleep by tricking the brain into producing ‘wake-up’ hormones right when you need to wind down.
You have an iron deficiency
Feeling cold all the time could be caused by an iron deficiency. Figures show that around a third of women are low in iron often due to heavy periods. Some have low enough iron levels to be anaemic.
If you pull down your bottom eyelids and the inner rim looks pale rather than pink, it’s an indicator.
Reboot your energy: A blood test will pick up any iron problems and you’ll be prescribed tablets to boost levels.
If iron levels are at the lower end of normal, but not anaemic, Healthspan’s Head of Nutrition Rob Hobson says: “Include plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet, such as lean meats, dark green vegetables, pulses and dried fruits, and pair them with foods like citrus fruit high in vitamin C.”
Reboot your energy: To avoid junk sleep and feel warmer, you need to develop good sleep hygiene – which means going to bed at a set time, banning screens for an hour beforehand and developing a wind-down routine that prepares your body for sleep, such as a warm bath, followed by a milky drink and half-an-hour reading something easy-going.
You’re missing out on vital B-vitamins
It's important if you are feeling cold that you check you are getting enough B-vitamins.
Nutritionist Rob Hobson explains: “We all have increasingly busy lives, so it’s essential to provide the body with enough calories and vitamins to get through the day.
“B vitamins are particularly vital as they’re required by the body to convert the food you eat into energy.”
Reboot your energy: “You can find this group of vitamins in grains such as brown rice, barley and oats, as well as lean proteins such as oily fish and turkey,” says Rob.
You are dehydrated
Losing as little as 2% of your body’s normal water content can take its toll on your energy levels and make you feel cold.
And it’s surprisingly easy to become dehydrated, especially as we tend to lose our thirst reflex as we get older.
Working in an air-conditioned office, going for a long walk or simply forgetting to drink regularly can quickly lead to depleted fluid levels.
This causes blood pressure to drop and means not enough blood gets to the brain or muscles. This can cause a person to feel cold, headaches, fatigue and loss of concentration.
Reboot your energy: Try to drink every two hours. If you’re not peeing regularly or your urine is very dark, it’s a sign you need to drink more.
“Water is best, but if you find it boring, add mint, basil, lemon or cucumber to liven up the flavour,” suggests Rob.
You're skimping on protein
Surviving on fruit and salad might feel worthy, but avoiding protein in the form of meat, dairy and nuts will leave you feeling cold and tired, as it’s a vital energy giver.
“It also takes more time for protein to be broken down in the body, so the energy is released more slowly and it fills you up for longer,” explains Linda Foster.
Reboot your energy: Snack on protein to keep energy levels stable.
Eating a minimum of a palm-sized amount of protein with meals, and eating seeds and nuts or nut butters can prevent tiredness.
Good protein sources are meat, fish, cheese, tofu, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts and seeds.
You circulation is poor
If your hands and feet feel like ice while the rest of the body is fine, then circulation could be a problem.
Smoking could be causing circulation issues, since lighting up constricts blood vessels,