The FINANCIAL -- Europe has turned into a huge freezer.
With temperatures well below freezing, venturing outdoors for even a
short time will prove to be a real test of stamina.
So it's good to know that there are a few simple tricks you can learn to protect yourself against the bitter cold. Here, you can find out how to fight the ongoing frost and get through the day unscathed, check the list according to Allianz insurance.
In the morning -- Unless you're lucky enough to be able to spend all day at home in bed, you should make sure that when you leave the house you do not turn the heating off completely, but rather keep it running at a low level. This will stop your pipes from freezing and bursting - and save you from having to come back home to a chilly house in the evening. In fact, it is more energy-efficient not to let a room cool down completely.
There are a few precautionary measures that you should take to protect your body, too. Sensitive skin, especially in exposed areas such as the face, needs particular protection, for instance with special face cream - the drier your skin, the richer the cream should be. Don't forget your lip balm, scarf and hat either!
Once you have followed these steps, there is nothing to stop you venturing outside even if the thermometer drops to 20 below. The next hazard, however, is waiting on the way to the bus, train or car - ice! Even if you are in a rush, it's better to be careful than to end up with a broken leg! You should also find out in advance if you are required to clear and grit snow on your walkway.
If you have to rely on your car, you should take some precautions - de-icer spray (helps when the door locks are frozen), antifreeze (for the windshield wiper unit and cooling system) and an ice scraper (ensures that you have a clear view) are essential items to have on hand in winter.
During the day -- Once you've arrived at your heated office, you've usually survived the worst. The cold-blooded among us, or people who have to work outside can warm themselves up again with the right lunch - warm soups and stews are ideal. Spicy dishes also stimulate the circulation and stoke your inner oven, while fruit and vitamins give the immune system a boost.
For the office-bound, it is worth performing a few exercises in the office in the afternoon. After all, movement gets the muscles working and releases heat. Massages to improve the flow of blood to the muscles also protect you from sudden attacks of the shivers.
If you spend longer periods of time out in the fresh air, you should also make sure that battery-operated devices such as cellphones and modern car keys are winterproofed. It makes sense to use "cellphone socks" or keep the devices in the inner pockets of your clothes.
In the evening -- Taking a long bath is a great way to heat up your body again after a strenuous day. The best thing to do is to keep a constant flow of warm water into the bath. This should be enough to get your body back up to the right temperature.
If you don't want to spend the night chattering your teeth due to the cold, you might want to take a full hot water bottle with you to bed. This will help you survive even the coldest of nights without freezing to death - and hopefully without any burns either...