No One Tells You About These Winter Health Problems

Posted on February 21 2020

No One Tells You About These Winter Health Problems

Hi, Annie here. Today, let's open up a dialogue about a few common winter health problems and talk about how to solve them.

Don't suffer in silence- let's talk about it. I'm sure you're not the only one who is experiencing these issues. While winter can bring an overwhelming amount of joy - skiing, sledding, snow days- it can bring just as many troubles.

Let's fight the stigma and talk about some winter-associated challenges to see if we can find a solution.

Asthma Attacks


With freezing temperatures, comes a rise in asthmatic symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dry cough with phlegm 
  • Chest pain 

The dry air can irritate your air pathways, causing muscle spasms and breathing difficulty. If your asthma flares up in the winter, you've got to take preventative measures.

When you need to get outdoors, wear a scarf to cover your mouth. This way, the air will be warmer, making it a bit easier to breathe. Consider getting a dehumidifier in the home to remove all of the dust-mites from the air.

Don't forget to get your flu shot and wash your hands!  Obviously, your inhaler will be the most effective. Speak with your doctor if you're in need of additional relief. 

 

Weight Gain


Between the chilly air and all of the other elements, it can be tough to exercise. I try to motivate myself to move around a little bit, but as soon as I open the door, I'm hit by a gust of wind that sends me crawling right back to my bed. Often times, the issue is improper winter attire. No one wants to trudge around in freezing temperatures- it's just not enjoyable!

Eating chips while watching Netflix sounds way more fun! You know what doesn't feel fun, though? Packing on the pounds. Your body's toxic load is increasing when you laze around all day and eat processed foods. As the level of inflammation increases in your body, so will the number on the scale.

Your body wants to move around. Maybe the solution is to find a way to stay warm while you exercise outside in the cold. Whether you like to bulk up in a bundle of layers or you prefer lightweight fitted clothing, heated apparel may be the answer you're looking for!

Combat wait gain by staying warm when you exercise outdoors. 

Seasonal Depression


With the changing season comes an earlier sunset. The lack of sunlight can cause some people to develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD.) The way that many people cope with the blues is to go outside and spend time with friends. However, winter issues, such heavy snow, can make social connection less accessible.

Instead of expressing their feelings to friends or getting their heart rate up on a jog, many people withdraw and isolate. Some people are afraid to talk about their depression due to the fear of other people shaming them. I'm here to tell you that you're not alone and that it's not your fault.

The good news is that it's treatable. Purchasing a SAD light can help lift your spirits and get you out of your funk. I have tried light therapy myself, as I have experienced SAD during the frigid winter season in Ohio and Michigan. After a few weeks of sitting in front of the SAD light box (the happy light!) I felt more and more like myself again.

I promise you that the sun will come out again...

Dry Skin


Let's be honest, dry skin is a total bummer! I went to Tahoe for Thanksgiving and decided to go snowshoeing (which was a blast!) I come back and my hands and lips were red, cracked, and bleeding. Ouch!

There are ways to prevent excessive dry skin. First, you need to make sure that your skin is completely covered. If you can see even an inch of skin poking through, you're in trouble. That nipping wind will ruin your experience. During the entirety of the trip, drink lots of water. Make sure to drink water before and after as well to ensure that toxins are getting flushed and your skin is receiving proper hydration.

Lastly, apply moisturizers. Whether you're into thick creams, gels, lotions, or oils, there is something out there that will help you. Even though it's winter, you still need to apply sunscreen. The sun can reflect off of the snow, giving you a nasty and painful burn.

Next time you're on a skiing adventure, take measures to protect your skin. 

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The above winter problems are common, but let's not underplay their severity. Do your best to prevent yourself from having a full blown asthma attack out in the frigid air and protect your skin from getting chapped.

If you've ever experienced SAD, light therapy can really benefit you. When it comes to a lack of motivation to exercise, maybe you need some high-tech winter gear. These problems are not fun, but I can assure you that you are not alone in your experience.

When it comes to your heath and well-being, it's time to take matters into your own hands. I hope you're able to solve your problems and find some joy this season. 

Annie Foley
Author
FNDN

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