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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!

Tips to Staying Cool on Hot Summer Nights in Calgary

What a wonderful summer we’ve been having this year in Calgary; the sun and its heat has been out in full force.  Many of us are having a hard time sleeping in the heat and don’t have the luxury of air conditioning. It’s unusual for Calgary to have such long stretches of warm weather and our sleep quality suffers.  Sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health and it is important we try to beat the heat as best we can.  Tips from our health clinic and walk in clinic in Calgary

We read up on sleep hacks and tricks for getting through these hot summer nights and picked our  6 favorite tips.  Some seem like common sense and others are pretty wacky.  However, when it’s 30 degrees inside our bedroom and we have to get to sleep anything is worth a try.

Use Cotton Sheets

Save the satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.

Freeze the Sheets

Stick sheets in the freezer for a few minutes before bed. We recommend placing them in a plastic bag first. Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat, hopefully long enough for you to fall asleep and for the cooler night air to make its way into your bedroom.

Use a Hot (Cold) Water Bottle

Buy a  hot water bottle In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking the thermostat. During summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.

Turn the Fan Around

If you thought fans are just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point fans out the windows so they push hot air out, and adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.

Make your own A/C

Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

Hydrate

Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just eight ounces will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3 a.m. bathroom runs.)

For more great tips and hacks on how to beat the summer heat check out the full article

24 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC).

If you think you got too much sun exposure,  suffered a heat stroke or require medical attention please come in see one of our family doctors at our health clinic in Douglasglen, Calgary SE or at our health clinic at the Calgary Airport. Walk-ins are welcome, and the wait time is usually very short or none at all.

health clinic Carstairs

Carstairs Medical Clinic Open House

Please join us as we celebrate the opening of our medical clinic in  Carstairs!

You will have a chance to meet our physicians and staff members, tour the facility and enjoy some snacks and refreshments! medical-clinic-carstairs-alberta

You will also have a chance to ask question and address any concerns.

The clinic is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday and all doctors are accepting new patients.

You can read about our family physicians in Carstairs by clicking the link.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Open House on Tuesaday, November 22nd from 3:30 pm to 5 pm.

Here is the address for the new health centre: Unit 2, 208 10 Ave N. Carstairs AB