Kiwis tend to reside in breezy villas, uninsulated units or, if they're really unlucky, damp apartments.

In fact, in New Zealand, homes are often referred to as "wooden tents."

There's nothing like having a house with holes in it and finding snails on the kitchen floor when you pop in for a midnight snack.

With winter 100 per cent upon us, and we brace ourselves for the crisp southerlies, it's time to get practical and keep warm.


Here are some hot tips to keep warm this winter.

Drink ginger

It sounds odd but ginger expands blood vessels and increases body heat. Ginger has also been reported to burn body fat 20 per cent quicker.

Another food that increases your body heat is garlic - but if smelling fresh is a priority, a ginger tea is your best bet.

So chuck the kettle on and down a brew. Ginger also detoxifies your body and stimulates circulation.

Check the house

The reminders are out there, and you might think about taking some simple steps to make your home more energy efficient and keep you warmer each winter, but who has time?

You do, my friend. This year is your year. It's easy:

Put a jacket on the hot water cylinder
Wrap up the hot water cylinder with an insulation cover. Cylinder wraps cost around $60 and pipe insulation is about $5 a metre from hardware stores.

Seal it up

Self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders are relatively cheap and easy to install.

It's worth getting those doors and windows sealed before winter properly kicks in.

You should also make sure you don't have any leaks or gaps so that the warm air can stay in and the cold air stays out - this also helps to reduce condensation.

Some people suggest rigging up plastic shower curtains behind material curtains in rooms to keep the warmth in. I'd suggest going for a clear option here, unless you're partial to something bath-themed.

Another option is attaching cling wrap tightly using tape from the top to bottom of windows as a sort of DIY double glazing. Pro tip: Did you know if you keep your cling wrap in the freezer it doesn't cling to itself?

Keep your blood sugar up when you're heading in to the cold. Photo / 123RF
Keep your blood sugar up when you're heading in to the cold. Photo / 123RF

Insulate yourself

Yes it's obvious, but wearing a hat will keep you way warmer, as will layering up for better insulation.

Feeling drastic? Head into that bottom drawer and bust out those long johns.

Harden up

People who spend time in the cold or are outside a lot can reduce their "set point" - the temperature at which they respond to the cold.

Being thin won't help - body fat keeps you warm. And keep up your blood sugar levels, running out of energy is going to make you colder.