Saturday , October 24 2020

Weather Can Cloud Your Health – The effects of cold weather on your body

Weather Can Cloud Your HealthFlorida’s population increases significantly during the winter months. A bulk of this population is northerners trying to dodge the colder temperatures. A drop in temperature can affect your health, no matter how cold.
Research shows that cold weather can affect your heart, your skin, your immune system and your joints. While Florida may not get as cold as some of the Northern states the effects of cooler temperatures still exist.
• Heart
Cold weather constricts, or narrows, your blood vessels so it can raise your risk of a heart attack. Your body works much harder during the winter months to generate heat. So, make sure you always dress appropriately. Wear a hat, gloves and coat. Those with history of heart problems try to avoid activities in the cold that will put extra stress on your heart (ex: shoveling snow).
• Skin
Cold weather can suck the moisture out of your skin. Ever notice how chapped your lips get with the winter? Make sure to use plenty of moisturizer. Specifically moisturizes with an oil base to block evaporation. You can also restore your body’s moisture by showering in lukewarm water. Lukewarm water replenishes moisture to your top layer of skin.
• Immune system
Do you seem get sick more often during the winter months? You are not imaging this!
Cold weather diminishes your immune response. This is because there is a reduction of blood flow to the extremities to preserve body heat which means there is less white blood cells to fight disease. Cold weather does not cause the cold or flu, it just makes you more susceptible to catching them from others. Make sure to take your vitamins and maintain appropriate hand hygiene when interacting with others.
• Joint pain
Do your knees/hips/back ache more when it is cold out? A study from Tufts University in 2007 found that every 10 degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. Ways to prevent this? EXERCISE! Daily activity will continue to moisten your joints to ensure continued ease of movement and decreased pain. If you have an injury or illness that prevents you from exercising on your own a licensed physical therapist can help assist with prescription of specific exercises to address your needs individually.
One BENEFIT of cold is you burn more fat!
With cold weather you have to burn more calories to stay warm! This isn’t a good excuse to eat excessively during the holidays though because it only works to lose weight if you eat the same amount, which we tend not to do.
So, continue to exercise and maintain your health through the holidays. Enjoy the cooler weather just make sure to take necessary precautions to avoid illness or injury.
We here at Life Care of Ocala are here to improve the health for the community we serve. As part of this vision, we provide a team of highly skilled Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapists and the latest in cutting edge rehabilitation technology such as the AlterG anti-gravity treadmill and the Biodex balance system to help you regain your independence and facilitate you reaching your personalized goals.
Please call Life Care Center of Ocala today at (352) 873-7570 if you have any questions or think we can help you maintain your functional independence following a recent hospitalization, illness or surgery.
**References: “Cold weather + Health-How cold temperatures affect health and well being? The dangers of cold.” From www.coolantarctica.com
“How does cold weather affect your health?” from www.health.harvard.edu
www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/tools-resources/weather.
352.873.7570 | 2800 SW 41st St. | Ocala, FL 34474 | www.LifeCareCenterOfOcala.com

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