Different seasons each year pose other health challenges on your body. While winter rids you of summer heat strokes or sunburns, it brings along various health conditions and unique illnesses. These effects hit hard, especially on those who are not used to cold conditions.
It is imperative to note that some cold weather effects may take time before you notice and react to them. For this reason, you need to be on the lookout for signs and symptoms that may come with exposure to cold temperatures. Among others, here are eight common cold-weather health issues and solutions:
Despite the numerous types of viruses, rhinoviruses are the most common type to cause the common cold. This type of virus enters your body through the openings such as the mouth, eyes, and nose. It is usually spread when someone next to you suffers from it, sneezes coughs, or talks to release droplets.
To counter this illness, wash your hands regularly during the common cold season. It would be best if you covered your nose and mouth when someone close to you sneezes or coughs.
For most people, it is difficult to tell the difference between the common cold and flu. They share a lot of signs and symptoms and therefore require a doctor to diagnose. The most visible difference is that people with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose, while those with flu may show various signs.
Fever, muscle or body aches, cough, headaches, and fatigue are the most common symptoms for those with flu. Likewise, it would help if you washed your hands regularly to prevent the spreading of this virus. The most effective preventive measure is getting a flu shot from a doctor.
Winter generally makes people gloomy and lethargic. In rare cases, you could get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression. SAD is a condition brought about by a reduced level of sunlight during winter. A drop in serotonin production, a brain chemical responsible for moods, is attributed to SAD.
SAD also affects your body’s internal clock leading to disruption in sleeping patterns and physical activities. Visiting a doctor or psychologist comes in handy in case you experience depression. Also, try to stick to your pre-winter schedule as much as possible.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
The winter season comes with lots of festivities, which may cause you to gain weight. The Christmas and New Year’s holidays usually prompt people to begin working out after eating more than they needed to. To counter unhealthy eating habits, be mindful of your consumption of comfort and convenience foods.
As always, incorporate a healthy and balanced diet during the festive periods. Consider frozen and canned vegetables as they are healthy options when fresh produce gets hard to come by.
The Winter season may prompt you to lay around or spend hours binge-watching your favorite shows that you had stacked up for this period. This kind of sedentary living increases your risk of getting overweight, heart disease, among other detrimental conditions. While spending time outdoors is not an option, consider switching activities every few hours.
It would help if you broke those cycles of passive activities. Try exercising or playing around with the kids.
The winter air is mostly dry and can suck the moisture out of your body, leaving you with dry skin. The deficiency of natural moisture may cause your skin to feel tight and flaky. Whether you have sensitive and delicate skin or not, consider purchasing a humidifier. Consider applying a moisturizer on your skin to prevent dry skin.
Hypothermia and Frostbite
Hypothermia, a condition in which your body loses heat faster than it can produce. This condition is most common to older people than young ones. However, you need to limit your kid’s exposure to cold. The most common symptoms of this are shivering, tiredness, constant urination, and clumsiness.
To counter hypothermia, dress for the season. You need to put on heavy and warm clothes and eat regularly to ensure that your body’s metabolism process is ongoing to provide you with sufficient heat.
On the other hand, frostbite is caused by the freezing of the skin and the underlying tissues. Frostbite puts your ears, nose, chin, fingers, toes, and cheek at risk. You may also get blisters, and your skin may appear white or gray and feel hard or waxy. You need to limit your time outdoors to prevent getting frostbite.
The cold conditions may cause your heart to overwork to keep you warm and increase your risk of getting a heart attack. Also, your blood pressure may rise. The effect on those with existing heart conditions can be fatal.
Staying indoors or near a fireplace may lower your risk of heart conditions. More importantly, you need to take lighter duties if you are not used to exercising.
The most effective tool in the world against diseases and illnesses is prevention. Your body appreciates your input in taking care of it. As this cycle is repetitive yearly, you need to beware of common cold-weather health issues that you will likely face periodically and their solutions.
Eating healthy plays a role in ensuring your body gets enough heat to keep you warm and prevent other health issues. It would be best if you were proactive in health matters. Visit your doctor before your symptoms worsen and seek preventive tips for winter health problems.
Take your family to get their flu shot and remind them to regularly wash their hands to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold. Also, minimize your outdoor visits and only do so if it is necessary. Ensure you cover your whole body if you get out and keep your clothing dry.
Use herbs to improve your health. Herbs such as basil, cinnamon, and ginger are known to reduce symptoms and shorten the flu and common cold duration. Remember, you have the best chance at prevention of common cold-weather health issues than their treatment.
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