Amazingly Affordable Tech To Help You Beat the Winter Blues

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Just because it's bleak outside doesn't mean you have to feel the blues. Light up your winter with tech that doesn't cost the earth – but does rock your world. 

Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm



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Your body is meant to wake naturally by daylight but instead, we bombard our ears with noise to abruptly sever our ties to dreamland. However, there is a better way. The surprisingly affordable Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm uses light to make your body think the sun is coming up, allowing it to rouse your sleeping brain from its slumber naturally. The result should be a more refreshed feeling for a great start to the day – even in the cold and dark of winter.

adidas Climawarm Sports Clothes



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Sheepishly emerging into the bleak of winter to run or cycle might be the last thing on most people’s minds, but in reality it’s one of the best ways to fend off those seasonal blues. Exercise promotes good energy and retains high serotonin levels in the brain, maintaining health and happiness. It also means you can eat more – which is always a welcome source of cheer.

adidas' Climawarm for men and women clothing is specifically designed for the cold, ranging from undershirts and hoodies to trainers and gloves. If you have the right gear, the idea of heading out into the winter chill won't faze you quite as much. In fact, we’ll wager it will make it quite appealing.

VR Headsets



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One of the best forms of winter escapism is to get away to another world – virtually. Virtual reality headsets, which harnesses your smartphone and respond to head movements to display a 360-degree view of just about any destination in the world, have now become much more affordable. And that means you can move your noodle about in the real world to investigate a virtual one.

The Samsung Gear VR is a comprehensive but affordable headset which offers games, videos and even Netflix. The latter is like watching TV on a 100-inch-plus screen in a mansion – escapism at its very best.

Bicycle Turbo Trainer



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Just because the weather isn’t cycling-friendly doesn’t mean you need to hang up your cleats and waste all that money you spent on your steed. If your ride is gathering dust, get a turbo trainer and make use out of it indoors, staying fit, warm and getting more bang for your buck. While they can be expensive, affordable options from Tacx, Elite and CycleOps will help you indulge in your passion, no matter what the outside world throws at you.

All that, and you can even train while watching Netflix on the Samsung Gear VR. You may never cycle outdoors again.

Slow Cookers



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When it comes to doing absolutely anything during winter, it just feels tougher than summer. Cooking is certainly an effort, but it offers massive rewards in the shape of warming, filling and hearty stews. A slow cooker can help on both counts, removing effort and enhancing flavour.

There are plenty of brand new options, from a larger Breville slow cooker to the compact VonShef Halogen oven but for even more of a bargain, eBay offers many refurbished slow cookers. They’re affordable, don’t take up too much kitchen space and are easily powered from a wall socket. 

Bung the ingredients in first thing, head out, then return to a perfectly cooked meal in a house which smells homely and welcoming.

Food Dehydrators



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One fun way to increase your vitamin levels without too much hassle is to dehydrate fruit. You can often find keenly priced refurbished food dehydrators on eBay, and models like the VonShef Tray Unit can even be used to make jerky if you’re feeling that call to protein. 

It helps keep snacks on standby without the need to layer up and head out to the shops, and you could even make your own dried Christmas fruit for the nut mix. Just make sure you do a few test runs before dealing it out to your guests.

Heated Gloves



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Don’t let below zero temperatures keep you inside twiddling your thumbs, just because you’re afraid to get them cold. Winter heralds the chance to go skiing, ice skating or even exploring on your motorbike while the roads are empty of fair-weather riders. 

What's more, all of these activities can feel positively cosy with a pair of heated gloves. There are plenty of electrically heated options, with motorcycle and ski gloves being some of the best. Venture gloves look good enough for day to day use, are waterproof and warm your mitts using a built-in battery pack and heater. All that, and they’re similarly priced to other non-heating ski gloves!
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