5 Tips to Wrap Up Winter Warm, Safe, and Healthy
- Bundle Up When Going Outside
Before heading outside on a winter’s day, check the forecast and dress accordingly. If it’s extremely cold, windy, or damp, try to stay inside or somewhere warm. If you head out, dress in layers and put on mittens or gloves, a hat, and a scarf, so you don’t lose precious body heat.
- Keep Your Home Warm Inside
To prevent your body from dropping to a dangerously low body temperature—a condition known as hypothermia—keep your home warm. Even if you don’t feel a chill, dress warmly and maintain your indoor temperature between 68°F and 70°F. Wear socks and slippers, keep a blanket handy to throw over your legs, and consider wearing a cap while you sleep.
- Know the Signs of Hypothermia
Some illnesses, such as thyroid problems and diabetes, may make it more difficult for your body to stay warm. Certain medications and limited physical activity can also affect your body heat. Talk with your doctor about your risk of hypothermia and know the warning signs:
- cold, ashy, or pale skin
- extreme tiredness and confusion
- problems walking
- slowed breathing or heart rate
Shivering is not a reliable warning sign, especially in older people who tend to shiver less when their body temperature drops. If you think you or a loved one may have hypothermia, seek medical attention immediately.
- Avoid Shoveling or Snow Blowing
It’s not healthy to shovel now or push a heavy snow blower. The exertion can cause a sudden increase in blood pressure and heart rate. The cold air can cause blood vessels to constrict and decrease oxygen to the heart. Together, these strain your heart and can trigger a heart attack. Lifting or pushing snow can be catastrophic for your spine, causing your discs to slip or herniate. Engaging in physically challenging activity in cold weather can also cause respiratory distress and put you at risk for both hypothermia and hyperthermia (where your core body temperature gets too high). It’s simply not worth the risk. Before the first flakes fall, see about contracting with someone to handle this chore for you.
- Stay Home When Feeling Unwell
If you’re feeling unwell, stay home and consult your physician. Wash your hands often, stay hydrated, and treat your symptoms. In addition to your usual medicine cabinet essentials, include at-home COVID-19 test kits. You can order a set of four at-home test kits from the United States Postal Service for no charge.
Springpoint Choice is Your Good Health Partner
As a Springpoint Choice member, you have access to a personal care navigator and a full spectrum of senior care solutions. Contact us to learn the many ways we offer you peace of mind through all four seasons.