My family certainly isn’t complaining about the winter wonderland outside. I know two young boys who absolutely adore the fluffy white stuff – my sons. They’re eager to get outside and play, but know it’s really important to dress appropriately before heading outdoors.
Can Cold Weather Make Health Conditions Worse?
Absolutely. Changes in the weather can cause all sorts of issues. Our blood vessels narrow, which reduces blood flow when it is cold outside. This can cause headaches or migraines for some, but for others, it raises their risk of a heart attack. The cold can also make it harder to breathe, especially those with asthma. Airways can tighten and breathing through the mouth can inflame the airways.
Shorter days and colder temperatures can encourage people to lounge inside in bed or on the couch. We know not moving much is not good for your health, but it can also affect your muscles and joints causing pain or stiffness. It can also wreak havoc on your emotions triggering low energy and blasé mood. Spending more time indoors can also affect those with allergies who are exposed to more mildew, dust, dander, and mold that they would in the summer. To annoy you even further, cold weather can cause dry, itchy skin and eyes.
What Advice Do You Have For The Winter?
- Be Careful – Especially when shoveling show – take it slow and steady so you don’t stress your heart. Also, watch out for icy steps and sidewalks. Footwear with textured soles can help.
- Dress Warm – Wear a hat, gloves, and a scarf to help you avoid frostbite and hypothermia.
- Be Mindful – Take note of how much time you spend outside.
- Get Moving – Take a walk, go sledding or skiing, or hit the gym. If you’re feeling too down to get moving, light therapy may help.