How You Can Avoid the Most Common Winter Health Risks

How You Can Avoid the Most Common Winter Health Risks

We know by now that we need to eat the right foods, need to work out, and do stuff that is healthy for us. Because maintaining good health does not happen by accident, it requires work and smart lifestyle choices. But sometimes when we wake up at 6 am to hit the gym before work or shunning the donuts in breakfast, it’s easy to lose sight of for what are we doing all these. So here are some top articles choices that can keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep diseases at bay.

How You Can Avoid the Most Common Winter Health Risks

, How You Can Avoid the Most Common Winter Health RisksWhen Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Feb. 2, 2014, almost everyone let out a groan of dismay. After all, this winter has been one of the coldest, snowiest and most miserable in recent memory, thanks in large part to the “Polar Vortex.”

While the predictions of a woodland rodent aren’t necessarily entirely reliable, recent weather patterns indicate Old Man Winter isn’t ready to give up control over the weather just yet. That means we have at least a few more months of cold weather and all that comes with it — particularly health risks. From nasty cold and flu viruses to hypothermia and slippery sidewalks, there is still plenty of time for winter to wreak havoc on your health.

It doesn’t have to, though. With a few basic precautions, you can skate through the rest of winter into spring without getting seriously ill or hurt.

Cold and Flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s flu season is among the worst in several years. CDC research indicates flu outbreaks are widespread in almost every state and that the H1N1 strain is showing up in a large number of cases.

For most people, a bout of the flu means a few days spent in bed feeling miserable. However, in some people, especially those with underlying health issues, the flu can be more serious, requiring hospitalization. Doctors recommend those with flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, fatigue, sore throat, headache, runny nose and watery eyes) seek treatment in the first 48 hours symptoms begin. Drugs like Tamiflu, which you can buy at a discount using an Afford RX coupon, can lessen the duration and severity of your symptoms when taken on time.

Of course, the best way to avoid coming down with the flu, or any other virus, is to practice proper hygiene. Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Viruses are transmitted by the droplets released when you cough or sneeze, so try to avoid sick people and cover your mouth with your arm when you cough or sneeze. If you feel sick, stay home to avoid making others sick.

Hypothermia and Frostbite

With the bitterly cold temperatures that much of the country has been experiencing this winter, hypothermia, or a dangerously low body temperature, is a distinct possibility. Hypothermia occurs when your body loses heat faster than it can produce it, and is marked by shivering, drowsiness, confusion and memory loss. If your core temperature falls to 95 degrees or less, you have extreme hypothermia and need medical attention.

To prevent hypothermia, avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, and if you must go outside, dress appropriately. That means wearing multiple layers, a hat, scarf and gloves. Pay close attention to warnings regarding cold temperatures, and stay indoors as much as possible when the temperature drops below freezing.

, How You Can Avoid the Most Common Winter Health RisksStaying warm can also help prevent another serious winter ailment: frostbite. Essentially, frostbite means a part of the body has frozen; usually, it happens on the fingers, toes, ears and nose, but it is possible for any exposed skin to become frostbitten. Again, avoiding frostbite means avoiding frigid temperatures, wearing appropriate clothing and warming up when skin begins to become red or painful.

Falls and Strains

Snow and ice create a winter wonderland, but they also increase the risk of injury. Take care when walking outdoors to avoid icy patches, and always wear proper footwear to reduce the risk of slipping and falling.

Snow removal can also create a risk of injury. Shoveling heavy, wet snow can cause muscle strains and pain, so engage in some light stretching exercises before heading out to tackle the driveway. Use a shovel that is the appropriate length and weight, and only lift a small amount of snow at a time. If you have a heart condition, or have sustained previous injuries to your back or shoulders, consider hiring someone else to manage snow removal for you.  Paying someone else to shovel or plow your driveway is a small expense compared to the potential health risks and costs of doing it yourself.

It may seem hard to believe now, but before we know it, spring will be here. Stay healthy in the meantime, and soon you’ll be soaking up the sunshine — no matter what a certain groundhog says.

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