Thousands of runners dressed like Santa brave the cold to take part in Christmas fun run
It is the UK's biggest annual gathering of Santas, and broke the Guiness World Record in 2005.Thousands of people dressed in red and white took to the street in Liverpool to take part in the event on Sunday.
The UK had its first proper taste of freezing temperatures this winter when ice and snow swept in earlier this month. In normal circumstances this would cause most people to crank up the central heating in a bid to keep the chill at bay, but soaring energy bills have made people much more cautious about using extra gas or electricity.
Experts, including Martin Lewis on his Money Saving Expert, have encouraged people to "heat the human, not the home" as a means of saving money while not getting too cold. One way of achieving this effect is to wear layers of the right clothing - such as special thermal wear.
Shoppers who have been putting this idea into practice have singled out Marks and Spencer's range of thermal wear - especially its Heatgen™ clothing - for particular praise, the Manchester Evening News reports. The Heatgen™ technology fabric is said to "lock in" warmth and features a "brushed" material on the inside which is said to "keep you extra warm when the weather gets chilly".
Stay warm working from home with 'heat the human, not the house' rule
You might be reading this wrapped up like a mummy, or you might have your heating turned up to 24CCoupled with that issue is the cost of living crisis, meaning even normal energy bills have soared. Few would say that having the heating on all day is an option, cost-wise.
The MEN's lifestyle editor Dianne Bourne decided to try the M&S range for herself, dressing head to toe in the garments to see if it kept her whole body warm as an alternative to putting the heating on. She went to the large M&S store in Manchester city centre to buy up all the women's thermals she could find - and discovered that plenty of customers had seemingly already done exactly the same thing.
"When I headed there the shelves had been stripped rather bare of most of the thermals range - and there were only limited sizes remaining in store of selected items on my visit (although the range is available in sizes 6 to 22 if you order online)," said Dianne. © MEN Thermal Heatgen Plus top and thermal leggings
"However in the womenswear range I managed to pick up some of the different Thermal Heatgen™ Plus options in my size which boast an "extra warmth" tag on them, which you can also buy online here in a range of sizes and colours. This included a long sleeved thermal top for £16 and thermal leggings for £16 and there is also a range of tops and long john thermals for men online and in stores too.
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Do you change your skincare with the season? You probably should.You see the cold dries out your skin, winds wick away water and central heating only exacerbates the problem. Yep, winter skin is a real thing— and yet, even with the changing temperatures, a study by Mintel found that 74% of women use the same skincare all year-round.
"M&S are also doing a range of thermal "extra warmth" ankle socks this year with a pack of three pairs for £10. I also picked up a pair of their traditional thermal leggings for £12.50 and a two pack of thermal turtleneck tops for £25."
Dianne said she particularly liked the Heatgen long-sleeved top which came in a sparkly black colour option. "It was so snazzy you could actually wear this as a going out top - and was a refreshing change from the old stereotypes of thermals as holey cream vests and long johns," she said. © MEN The sparkly Heatgen top made a refreshing thermal change
Dianne continued: "I also thought the turtleneck two pack was good value for money - I bought mine in two different colours of black and a black and beige stripe - and working out at £12.50 per top. Both were smart enough for workwear when worn on their own, or as decent base layers for when you need to wear extra layers.
‘With incurable cancer and £72 a week in benefits to live on I’ve been forced to sell my house’
Ray Morphus, 57, has claimed for Personal Independence Payments, but, facing a four-month delay on processing his claim, has been forced to sell upIt’s not just a house. It’s a place their six grown-up children have been welcome any time, with a garden their four grandchildren run around in. It’s where the couple expected to live out their days.
"The socks are also a welcome addition as they're smart enough to wear as "work socks" but with added fluffiness to warm up your toes. But the biggest hit for me was the Thermal Heatgen™ Plus leggings.
"These were like a normal comfy legging, but with a soft brushed inside which kept me super warm and cosy throughout the day and I felt that I benefitted from going a size up than what I would normally wear in these to make them a less tighter fit and more useful for everyday lounging.
"While the more traditional thermal leggings, with knitted stripes, would be best worn under trousers, I felt with the Heatgen leggings I would happily wear these out just as they are as they were so thick and warm. In fact I need to buy another pair because I literally don't want to take them off now they're just so flipping warm and comfy."
Dianne said that, as she tends to feel cold living in an old house, she still "wasn't convinced" the thermals would help her resist "hitting the heating the button". But she said: "I dressed myself head to toe with the thermal top, leggings and thermal socks and starting work at 9am decided to see how long before I would feel the cold."
'My asbestos hell' - woman left with bare walls and heating problems for two years
A woman has lived with bare walls and limited heating for more than two years after asbestos was found in her home. Alice Edwards hopes the property, in Bramble Way, Hollingbury, Brighton, could finally warm up for Christmas. The asbestos was found in the living room of the home she shares with her adult child in November 2019 after electrical work to fit new radiators. Ms Edwards, 49, has taken her case to the housing ombudsman after raising several complaints with the city council because the place has remained contaminated for the past two years.
© MEN Dianne loves the thermal leggings
With the temperature 9 degrees Celsius outside, Dianne said she managed to continue working until 2pm before starting to feel the cold without any heating. She added an extra jumper layer, but admitted to "caving in" by 2.30pm and put the heating on for an hour.
"The main problem I found was the part left uncovered by the thermal wear - eg my hands - which started to get cold as I typed away while the rest of me was staying pretty warm in the layers. But overall, the thermal layers, underneath a fleecy jumper, did keep me really nice and warm," said Dianne.
"I've seen in other thermal ranges the addition of a "thumb hole" on thermal tops to give a bit of extra warmth to hands, and this would have been a welcome addition to the M&S range I felt."
Overall, Dianne said she was "pretty impressed" with the M&S range, chiefly the Heatgen items. "All of the items I felt offered a reasonably-priced way to try and keep yourself warm this winter," she said.
"They are all really easy to wash in a standard washing machine, and as they're created with stretch they are also particularly comfortable and practicable items to have at hand. The real test will be if and when the temperatures plummet back to below zero again like they did earlier this month. But at least I feel a bit more prepared to layer myself up for a cold snap now."
Find out more about M&S' full range of thermal wear here.
Scottish man forced to choose between eating or heating his home after energy bill rise .
Gary Proudfoot, 39, has been locked in a near 11 month battle with Scottish Power after a new heating system was installed in his building. The Maryhill Housing Association resident says his mental health has been destroyed with him left unable to even dry his own clothes because of fears over energy costs. READ MORE - Edinburgh winner of BBC's The Traitors says bullies mock and film her in public Speaking to our sister title the Daily Record, Gary said: "It's so cold in my house that I can see my own breath, but I can't afford to put the heating on. "I'm on benefits and this is absolutely hammering me.