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Cold weather and your health

How cold weather can affect your body and
what you can do to protect yourself

Winter-time is celebrated by some and hated by others. For those who love winter activities like skiing, skating, sledding, snowshoeing or snowmen building it’s the best part of the year. Other people spend most of their time indoors in front of the fireplace with cup of hot tea and the luckier ones somewhere south escaping the frosty weather both looking forward to first sings of spring.cold weather, protecting your health in cold weather in Calgary

No matter which group you belong to the cold weather has an impact on our overall health in general. Let’s have a look at some of the areas that may be at risk.

Skin

In cold weather our skin loses moisture and becomes dry and tight and the heated air inside our homes or offices makes it even worse. You can experience irritation, flaking or even cracking of your skin. You should wear a sunscreen outdoors and keep covered as much as possible plus upgrade your lightweight summer cosmetics to heavier creams suitable for cold weather conditions.

For indoors consider using a humidifier and don’t overdo it with the heat. Soaking in hot bath is very comforting in wintertime but can lead to more dryness so don’t forget to moisturize with your favourite lotion.

Immune system

 Winter, beside cold weather, also bring flu and cold season. It’s almost some kind of tradition – as soon as the outside temperatures drop the world is suddenly full of coughing, sneezing and sniffling people and the sales of tissues soar.

If you want to stay healthy:

  • Focus on boosting your immune system with the help of antioxidants and vitamins preferably coming from fresh fruits and vegetables. And if you didn’t get a flu shot yet, it’s never too late.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours every night, our desire to sleep increases naturally with less light, so don’t fight it and get that much needed rest.
  • Stay active during the day though, even short walk every day will make a difference.
  • Using massage, especially with warm oil is also a good and pleasant way to strengthen our immunity in winter.

Heart

Cold weather is not the best for the heart. Low temperature can decrease the flow of oxygenated blood to your hear muscle and is one of the risk factors of heart attack. We can also over-strain ourselves easier in winter, walking in deep snow against the cold wind, shoveling the sidewalks and digging our cars out of snowdrifts. The rule is to always dress warm, don’t forget to cover your head and if you have heart condition avoid alcohol which might make you feel warm at the beginning but as it expands the blood vessels it takes the heat away from vital organs.

Eyesightwinter activities and protecting your health in Calgary

 Lovers of winter sports pay attention. You probably will not find riskier environment for your eyes than high snowy mountains. The most dangerous for your eyes is UV light that can cause “snow blindness” and contribute to development of cataract.  Good quality sunglasses with high UV filter are a must during all on-snow activities. Make sure that the eyes of your children are protected too since they are even more vulnerable.

Winter season is a busy one with all the holiday parties, family dinners and winter sports. It also brings more risk of injuries and sicknesses. Our health should always be our number one priority even though it’s harder to find the motivation at this time of the year. So listen to your body, move regularly, eat healthy balanced diet and keep the good spirits. Spring will be here sooner than you think. Until then stay warm!

3 Reasons Why You Should Get the Flu Shot

With the colder weather hand in hand comes the season of runny noses, colds and flu….and the usual debating on whether to get or not to get the flu shot this year. The truth is that even the healthiest and strongest of us are at risk of getting sick or even ending up at the hospital since every human body reacts to influenza differently.flu shot, Calgary flu season, why get a flu shot, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Of course, it’s up to each individual to decide if they are going to take the risk of not getting the flu shot in the hopes that they can avoid the flu this winter by chance or  actually take the preventive step and get immunized.

We should think about our family, friends and coworkers too. You don’t want to infect those closest to you. If you are still unsure about getting the flu shot this fall or not, here are a few reasons why you should go for it.

  1. New virus, new vaccine

Even though you might have had your vaccination done last year or few years ago, you should still get vaccinated this year as well. Why? Because the virus is changing, new strains keep constantly emerging and based on that new vaccines are developed to fight the most prevailing flu strains.

  1. Protect children and elderly

Thousands of children are hospitalized every year due to influenza. Children under 2 year are especially at risk. Even if you don’t have children on your own, there is still a chance you will spend time with someone else’s child this winter. Just like the children, the elderly people over 65 years are at greater risk of serious complications because the immune system becomes weaker with age.

  1. Even your phone can make you sick

Have you ever thought about how many times a day you touch your phone with your fingers? How many times does it touch your face? And the most important question – where is the phone in the meantime? How many counters, tables, objects in your bag or car has it touched? If you do not disinfect it daily, which most people don’t, it becomes a carrier for thousands of germs.

flu shot, influenza, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Carstairs, sick with the flu, germsIt’s true that the flu vaccine is not 100{b6e88ae49ccf12da45e74f711f1365e10853bfaff7856757db12eb61ca4e7f7b} effective in preventing flu, but it drastically decreases your chances of infection, and lessens the severity of symptoms if you get sick. Of course washing your hands and avoiding those with the flu is very important, too.

The 2017/18 Influenza Immunization Program began October 23, 2017. Influenza immunizations are offered, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age. Flu shots are offered by many pharmacies and physicians in Calgary.