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Winter Is Coming: Tips and Remedies to Keep Sickness at Bay

by Carissa Andrews  -  November 5th, 2018

Photo Credit: by @CANPharmacyKing
Photo Credit: by @CANPharmacyKing

As they say in Westeros, winter is coming… No amount of complaining will take away that fact, either. Along with it, are the slew of festivities as the holidays hit—as well as the winter health related issues and illnesses. The good news is, surviving the cold months doesn’t mean dealing with White Walkers and Ice Dragons (unless you’re a Game of Thrones fan). Instead, you can head into winter by leaning on the tips and tricks the Canadian Pharmacy King is about to give you and you’ll have all you need to keep sickness at bay. Let’s dive in and have a look at ways to keep healthy this winter:

Frostbite & Hypothermia

When temperatures really drop, it’s best to stay indoors, instead of risking exposure to frostbite, windburn, or hypothermia. Hypothermia occurs when your body starts to lose heat faster than you can produce it. When this happens, confusion can set in—making a bad situation worse, leading to frostbite and even the possibility of freezing to death.

Even if hypothermia isn’t an issue, getting frostbite is no laughing matter, either. Damage from frostbite is generally more severe than it originally appears, and can ultimately translate into the loss of fingers, toes, and other extremities—such as noses, ears, and cheeks. If staying inside isn’t an option, be sure to cover your hands, ears, face, and extremities. Keep warm, dry clothing on-hand or readily available and take breaks from being outside frequently. Protect your face from windburn and frostbite, even if you use protective face gear, by applying a layer of petroleum jelly to your face.

Winter Blues

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) impacts thousands of people every year and can lead to fully developed depression, if not careful. While light exposure certainly plays its role physically, for some, the grayness, lack of sun, and shorter days simply wear on a person’s mental state.

Lightboxes and certain antidepressant medications, as prescribed by your doctor, may make all the difference. In fact, approximately 70% of patients prescribed lightbox therapy find benefits in its use. It’s also wise to seek out sunlight during the strongest hours for the sun’s rays in your area—which typically means at or around lunchtime. Vitamin D supplements may also be a wise investment, but definitely check with your doctor first.

We have a few additional articles you may want to check out on tips to alleviate the Winter Blues:

10 Foods to Boost Energy & Banish the Blues This Winter

Coffee Enema: A Great Therapy for the Holidays & Winter Season

7 Myths and Truths About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Obesity

Feeling sluggish and lacking energy during the winter months is a common problem. Packing on the pounds, starting on Halloween and moving through the rest of the holidays can certainly add to the problem. However, winter is also the perfect time to up your game when it comes to physical movement and overall health. Not only would setting daily exercise goals benefit your weight, but it can condition your heart, and reduce or eliminate the winter blues (SAD).

Aches and Pains

Unfortunately, colder weather and changes in barometric pressure can wreak havoc on arthritic and achy joints. In order to minimize these effects, it’s important to take a few precautions before heading out on a blistery day. Of course, dress warmly and consider using layers so you can peel off what you don’t need. If you’ll be out in the elements for more than a moment or two, wear warm gloves or mittens, warm socks and boots, and a hat. Stay active or even increase activity during winter months is also good for whisking away your aches and pains. It increases blood flow and keeps joints loose and limber.

Ice Safety

Every year, there are a lot of ice-related falls in areas with snow and ice. Broken hips, ankles, wrists, and fingers are pretty common place until the warmer weather of summer returns. Staying safe on icy surfaces generally means exercising some caution and taking your time. If you know ice could be along your path, wear proper shoe attire to stay safe when walking outside. Get additional support from a friend or relative, if your balance is impaired. And most of all, keep your walkway free and clear of snow so it doesn’t have an opportunity to melt and freeze over.

Dry Skin

As humidity levels plummet, it can cause an immediate reaction to the dryness of our skin. However, certain lifestyle choices can make this worse. For example, taking long, hot showers or not drinking enough water can also dry your skin out. To minimize winter’s effects on your skin, take warm, tepid showers and baths and seal in the moisture by applying lotion within three to five minutes of getting out. Be sure to get enough water every day to keep your skin, and the rest of you, hydrated.

Cold & Flu Season

As soon as colder days force the majority of us indoors, the number of patients developing fevers, head congestion, chills, and other cold and flu related symptoms rise. The common cold virus, also known as rhinovirus, actually favors the colder temps. It also replicates more rapidly when temps fall—then as we spend more time cooped up indoors with other people, the virus has an easier time spreading. To avoid getting sick, the best way by far to combat colds is by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water. Your skin is the first line of defense—so keep it clean and moisturized. Be sure to get your flu shot each year, and boost your immune system with plenty of fruits and veggies fortified with Vitamin C. If congestion is an issue for your, consider cutting back on both dairy and sugar, as both affect your ability to fight off viruses, as well as contribute to congestion.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As temperatures fall and furnaces fire up, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up. Because this gas is practically undetectable and deadly, it’s important to take extra precautions. In order to prevent and/or avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, check your carbon monoxide detectors in your home to make sure they’re working right. Be sure to have one for every floor of your home and replace them roughly every five years. Service your furnaces, heaters, stoves, and fireplaces as colder temps emerge to make sure everything is functioning efficiently. Lastly, do not sit in a car that’s running in a garage (with the door open or closed), as CO gas can build up there, nor should you stay in a running vehicle that’s snowbound.

Heart Health

Shoveling snow may not seem like a heart health issue, but you may be surprised to learn many heart attacks can start out with this seemingly mundane task. If you have heart issues of any kind, or even if you’re unsure, it’s best to plan a trip to visit your doctor before the snow flies. Talk with your doctor to find out if you have the cardiovascular health it takes to meet that level of exertion. If not, it’s best to hire out the job to someone you trust, rather than opting to do it yourself. There are certainly gentler ways to get yourself in shape an improve your cardiovascular conditioning. If you’re given the go-ahead, be sure to protect your back by bending at the knees and ensuring your stance is wide enough to keep your balance. Don’t over exert yourself by trying too pick up too much snow or trying to get it all done in one go. Instead, take breaks and give yourself time to relax—particularly if you have a large driveway or if a lot of snow fell.

Breathing Problems

Asthma and allergies have a way of rearing their ugly heads when the warmer weather of summer gives way to winter. Not only does the cold aggravate airways, lungs, and nasal passages, but the additional time we spend indoors increases our exposure to pet dander, molds, and mildew. All of which can increase allergies and make it harder to breath.

If you have asthma, be sure to keep your rescue inhaler close—and continue to take your steroid inhaler as directed, if one has been prescribed. If allergies are the culprit of your breathing woes, it’s advised to use an allergen trapping furnace filter, vacuum frequently, and wash your bedding weekly. Also, wash your hands and face frequently if allergies flare up. Not only will it help calm your histamine reaction, but it will keep cold and flu viruses at bay, too.

Winter health hazards don’t have to bring you down. There are a number of ways to keep your health and sanity when the snow flies, but sometimes it takes a little forethought and extra effort. Luckily, we did a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Canadian Pharmacy King hopes you find these tips and remedies helpful, so you can get through the coming winter season with a spring in your step and joy in your heart.

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