Winter brings about many happy things including holidays, snow days and hot cocoa. However, in addition to the good days, winter brings about many health issues that you need to be aware of in order to stay safe and healthy.
The cold weather can affect your health in a number of ways. From skin infections to respiratory problems, winter brings a number of risks that you need to be aware of in order to stay safe and healthy. But we’ve compiled tips to help you out. From natural supplements like CBD products and vitamins to flu shots, we’re not just outlining the problem, but also providing solutions. Keep reading to find out more.
Seven Health Issues, Several Solutions
1) Colds and Flus: When people’s immune systems are weakened by the colder temperatures, it’s easier for colds and flus to spread. This is because the cold makes it harder for the body to maintain its temperature, causing issues like chapped lips and cracked skin. These things make it easier for germs to spread from one person to another. This is especially true when you’re in a confined space with a lot of people, such as a subway or a school.
Preventing these issues isn’t too hard. Make sure you wash your hands often and avoid touching your face when possible. Wearing a mask can also help prevent the spread of germs. Some people will also want to take pre-emptive steps with vaccinations or flu shots.
2) Respiratory Problems: When you live in colder climates, your body gets used to the chill. This means that there’s less mucous produced by the nose and mouth, making it easier for viruses to reach your respiratory tract. When this happens, you’ll be more susceptible to respiratory problems like bronchitis and pneumonia especially if you have pre-existing conditions like asthma.
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To avoid these issues, you can start by using a humidifier while you sleep. Staying properly hydrated is also helpful. If you’re not sure if you have an infection, it’s possible to treat the symptoms with over-the-counter medication like decongestants and antihistamines. If they persist, you should see your doctor.
3) Vitamin D Deficiencies: Because of the lack of vitamin D, people who live in colder climates may experience decreased vision. Vitamin D is also important for both your nervous system and your skeletal health, so its absence can make it difficult to walk without tripping or experiencing muscle cramps.
There are ways to avoid these issues, however. One option is to take supplements, including vitamin D capsules and fish oil. Getting enough exercise can also help your body with its supply of vitamin D, according to research. Eating foods high in vitamin D like tuna, salmon and cheese can be helpful as well.
4) Allergies: When you suffer from allergies, it can feel like the weather is against you. As the winter draws in, many people find that their allergies become worse because of the dryness of polar air currents. This is especially true for those with sinus issues or a history of respiratory problems.
There are a number of ways to deal with allergies, however. For starters, you can make sure your home is well-sealed and that you have an air purifier in place. You can also consider using saline sprays or allergy medications like antihistamines. Clean frequently and ensure your vacuum has a HEPA filter to catch dust and other small particles.
5) Frostbite: When the air temperature falls below 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) the risk of frostbite becomes real. Frostbite is a condition where you experience cold-related injuries like discoloration and numbness. This means that your skin and tissue actually freeze, which can lead to nerve damage. In some cases, it may even require amputation in order to fully recover from the damage.
The best way to avoid this is being prepared, including wearing proper clothing and using tools like hand warmers. If your skin, hands or feet begin to feel numb, you need to get warm. Warm up your skin by covering up with a blanket and drinking water. If you’re planning to be outside for extended periods of time, ensure that you and your loved ones, especially children, are wearing proper winter clothing.
6) Skin Issues: Dry air can be uncomfortable, but it can also lead to skin problems. The combination of cold temperatures and dry air means that your skin needs additional protection. If you have issues with dermatitis or psoriasis, this time of year can be especially difficult.
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There are many things you can do to protect your skin during the winter months. For starters, you’ll want to use a humidifier at home and keep yourself well hydrated. You should also consider using an occlusive cream to prevent further problems. If these methods aren’t working for you, it may be time to speak with a dermatologist about the best way to manage your skin condition. Left unchecked, dry, itchy and irritated skin can become infected or cause further complications.
7) Depression and Anxiety: You might be surprised to see depression and anxiety on this list because it’s not a physical health issue. However, mental health is an important factor when it comes to winter health. When the weather grows colder and darker, many people find that they feel down or blue. Likewise, extra work and a busy holiday season can inspire feelings of anxiety and tension. This is especially true for those with a history of mental illness or who struggle with anxiety and other mood disorders like bipolar disorder.
If you’re feeling lonely and lost or extra anxious during these months, there are ways to manage it. Staying active, surrounding yourself with positive people and ensuring topnotch selfcare are all great starting points. You can also include mood-boosting supplements like CBD with MCT oil or magnesium capsules. These products are available in a variety of forms, so you can choose the type of products that work best for you. More often than not, these will do the trick. However, you can always reach out to your doctor or a qualified mental health professional as well.
Stay Healthy This Winter
These are just a few of winter’s health risks and how you can protect yourself from them. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can stay safe and healthy during this time of year.
Do you have any tips of your own? What other risks do you need to be aware of? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section, so be sure to leave us a note.
Best of luck and we hope you stay healthy this winter!