It happens every winter. Your body is nice and warm under the cozy covers, but your feet are freezing! And worse, it's keeping you awake.
According to many health professionals, cold feet may be a sign of poor circulation, diabetes, or anxiety.
But sometimes, your feet are just plain cold. You know what I mean, we've all been there.
(photo by Akhil Verma at Unsplash)
Yes, if your cold feet come with frost bite, illness, or bluish lips, consult a health professional immediately.
On the other hand, perfectly healthy kids and adults without circulation issues have been dealing with cold winter feet forever! Why isn't more written about this? Cold feet are uncomfortable! It's an issue!
Thus, I won't try to explain why your feet are cold. That's been done elsewhere. Instead, these are a few easy tricks I've picked up over the years for how to warm up feet fast.
First we're going to focus on these two methods which I've named:
- The Fire Starter Method.
- The Built-In Heating Pad Method.
In addition to cold feet cures, I'll share a few additional methods for warming up quickly!
First of all, this list doesn't include the obvious extra pair of socks, heating pad, and heated blanket. We'll assume you already know those.
Instead, these methods are for when you're in a real pinch. For example, when you're already under the covers. There's nothing worse than that moment at bed time when you realize everything else is warm and toasty-- except your feet!
No one can fall asleep when your feet are blocks of ice!
The problem here is simple. Because you're already under the warm blankets-- ugh, you don't want to get out of bed to look for more socks! You don't need socks, you just need answers.
So if you're dealing with cold feet right now, you've come to the right place. Here we go.
The Fire Starter Method
To begin, have you ever seen someone try to light a fire by rubbing two sticks together? If you have, you know where this is heading. No-- don't light your bed on fire. Instead, try the fire starter method!
- Lay on your back.
- Pull your knees up so the soles of your feet are flat on the bed.
- Slide each foot forward and back on the sheets.
- This motion creates friction, which will warm the sheets.
- Keep rubbing your feet forward and back for long enough for your feet to warm up!
A health professional would probably point out that the fire starter method simply activates more circulation in your feet.
But it's worth noting that the beauty of this method is in the external heat you create. That said, sometimes you're too tired to move.
And in reality, sometimes my feet have been so cold that the fire starter method just didn't get it done. I've also had the bottoms of my feet get warm, but the tops of my feet stay uncomfortably cold.
If that's your situation, here's your plan B.
The Built-In Heating Pad Method
We often don't realize our feet are freezing until it's too late.
As mentioned above, when you're 97% warm and toasty-- walking to the hall closet to find the heating pad is not an option. Plus they don't warm up immediately. And after a while, heating pads can make you sweat.
We don't want to sweat. And we definitely don't want to get out bed!
We just want to thaw our frozen feet quickly so we can fall asleep. For that type of scenario here's the Built-In Heating Pad method:
- Lay on your back.
- Both legs straight out.
- Pull one leg up and leave one leg straight.
- Tuck your freezing cold foot under the knee/ thigh of your straight leg.
- It will be a jolt of cold, but leave it there for a couple minutes until that foot warms up.
- Then switch feet and warm up the other foot.
If you're really struggling, try doing the Fire-Starter Method first, followed by the Built-In Heating Pad.
The warm bed sheets created by the friction of the Fire-Starter, will help speed up the effectiveness of the Built-In Heating Pad.
Yes, these methods require a baseline of flexiblity and movement, so please don't hurt yourself. But on the other hand, try them, you might be surprised how quickly they can warm up you or your loved one's feet!
A Few Other Counter-Intuitive Warmer-Uppers For The Waking-Hours
Looking for a few more tricks for dealing with cold during the day? Here are a few more that I've accumulated over the years.
For starters, say you're at work in the office, at school, or even at home and your feet are freezing--even though you have shoes and socks on.
This has happened to me countless times, even while wearing insulated boots. Sometimes feet are cold because there's no room in the shoe for your foot to move. Again, this may very well be related to circulation. And as you know, it can be really uncomfortable.
Move Those Piggies!
If you've been sitting awhile, first of all try getting up and walking around. I've even done some quick exercises like jumping jacks, or just bouncing on my toes to get the blood flowing.
Perhaps you're a desk jockey or a student? Sometimes your feet are freezing but you can't just get up and walk around. If that's the case, try untying or loosening your shoe strings. That will give your feet more room to wiggle inside your shoe. Wiggle your piggies til they get warm!
If they're really cold, try a modified Built-In Heating Pad manuever. What's that? In essence, take your shoes off and sit on one foot at a time until it gets warm. It may seem crazy to do this in public. But it beats cold feet!
Still in a world of hurt? Try playing mind games!
Cold Is Relative? (More Like the Black Sheep Of The Family)
The oddest thing about temperature is that it's relative. For example, what temperature is Cold? Your answer might not be the same as someone else.
That said, if you're feeling cold in the house during winter you can change your perception easily. Go outside. A minute or two in the cold air outside might reset how warm the house feels.
One last trick is similar, but helps improve your winter shower routine. Afterall, stepping out of a warm shower into a freezing cold bathroom is terrible. It can make you want to get right back in the shower!
Cold Showers: They'll Make You Cuss, But I Swear By It
But something I learned from "The Iceman" Wim Hof can help. Essentially, enjoy your normal piping-hot shower. But before you end, turn the water to cold. Doing this will make you cuss, but I swear by it.
By getting one final rinse in cold water, you prepare your body for the cold. Like magic, when you step out of the shower, the bathroom will feel nowhere near as cold and unpleasant.
It may sound crazy to take a cold shower in winter. But remember, if you don't, what's waiting for you as soon as you turn off the water. The cold water takes all the nip out of the cold air!
Hope some of these tips help. Stay warm out there!