Common Winter Health Issues To Prepare For

Aside from common contagious winter viruses, winter can cause a variety of health issues each year for anyone living in colder climate conditions. This article includes a list of common winter health problems and a bit about each one. This will let you know what to look out for and how to be proactive for each.

Common winter illnesses and health problems:

  1. Common viruses or infections

The common cold, the flu, pneumonia, upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, sore throat, and strep throat. It may be appropriate to mention that in the past two years, covid is also part of this list. Although you can get all of these things through the year, conditions are best for them to affect many people in the cold months.

Stay active, eat healthy, and sleep plenty. Go to the doctor before you have an issue, and always when you have symptoms.

  1. Bad indoor air quality

Consider that there is dust and poor ventilation because it is too cold to open windows. People sometimes have old or dirty furnace filters or dirty rooms that need vacuumed or swept There may be laundry that needs washed and you may have heating systems that are poorly maintained. One of the most dangerous of these can be gas leaks from faulty gas heaters or appliances.

As soon as possible, get a carbon monoxide detector or two for the home. It is free to call your gas company to come check on a possible gas leak. They will be happy you called, even if they don’t find an issue. Keep your home clean by frequently washing laundry or linens, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and wiping surfaces. Stay on top of removing pet hair from the surfaces and the air. Change your furnace filter often. Change any air purifier filters regularly. Keep the allergens down whenever you can.

  1. Inactivity and bad eating habits

Sedentary living can cause circulation problems, weakness in your muscles, dizziness, headaches, muscle soreness, and more.

Eating right can be hard. The best fruits and produce are out of season, and it can be harder to eat healthy. Food prices are going up lately and you just spent money on Christmas. Also, you’re not going grocery shopping often due to avoiding the cold. Your body craves more food this time of year to stay warm.

Remember the consequences of not being active or exercising. Do something for exercise that you enjoy and do it as often as you can. As for eating, just do your best to find healthy foods. Try frozen fruits and vegetables, or frozen seafood. Nuts are great all year round. Leafy greens are usually always available.

  1. Other mental and physical considerations

Winter takes a toll on your physical and mental health. It is common to get seasonal depression, worsened or new anxiety, and more. Also consider if you have breathing issues, you can get asthma attacks or have trouble breathing in the cold dry or warm dry air.

See your doctor for anything that is causing mental or physical problems or pain for you. If your mental health takes a hit, consider contacting a counselor or therapist.

No one should have to suffer or struggle each winter. This article should help you know what to expect and how to prevent most of these things from happening to you. We await patiently for spring.

Health Risks That Come From An Inactive Lifestyle

For many different reasons, people tend to live sedentary and inactive lifestyles.

Maybe it is because they have some issues with depression. Maybe they don’t have the space or tools at home and they don’t feel comfortable exercising in front of other people. Or they could have a health issue that makes exercise risky or problematic.

There are many justified reasons people don’t get moving, and perhaps some not so great reasons. That doesn’t change the cold, hard truth about inactivity. The truth is that not moving your body enough is bad for you in many ways.

The following things may happen if you do not exercise your body:

  1. Your body can’t burn as many calories and you may easily gain weight
  2. Your muscles start to weaken and you lose endurance and strength. Use it or lose it they say. Next time you want to go out with your friends, make sure you can keep up.
  3. Your bones might get weaker. They may lose calcium and other important minerals
  4. Your body may struggle to break down sugars and fats in your diet. This is a sign your metabolism is being affected.
  5. You may have a lot of trouble fighting off illnesses or diseases. Your immune system doesn’t work very well when you are inactive for too long.
  6. You could develop poor or get worsening blood circulation. If you already have issues with your body parts going numb too quick or you get cold very easily, consider this. Are you moving and getting that blood pumping?
  7. You could develop hormonal issues and imbalances.
  8. Your body could have more inflammatory problems.
  9. You could become constipated and have digestive problems. The body needs to move for the bowels to move properly.
  10. Your back, arms, legs and other muscles can become uncomfortable. This is a sign that your body knows it is best for you to move and it hurts or feels off because it needs to move. You’re also more likely to pull muscles, pinch nerves, or get other related injuries.

No one wants to miss out on their life because they’ve sat around too long and now they can’t physically keep up with everyone else. Make sure your body is able to get up and do what you need it to do. Life is happening now, and you should be there.

What To Eat To Boost Your Immunity

Tis the season for needing as much immune support as you can get! Everyone knows what all is going around out there, and not a single soul wants to get sick.

However, you can do much of the prevention you need by eating the right foods.

These foods have vitamins that can help you prevent illness and help you fight anything you do catch. Most people do not eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables.

The sad fact is that eating healthy occasionally is not nearly effective enough. You must create a habit of eating healthy for a longer time to see results. So, while reading the list below, keep in mind that these foods should be in your diet as often as possible.

The list below includes foods you can eat to boost your immune system:

  1. Vitamin C Foods: Strawberries, papaya, spinach, brussels sprouts, bell peppers, and spinach. Since so many different foods have this Vitamin, you may not need a supplement. Consult with your doctor first.
  2. Vitamin E Foods: Almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, peanuts/peanut butter, and oils found in soybeans, safflower, and sunflower. Vitamin E is a great antioxidant to help fight infection.
  3. Vitamin A Foods: Cantaloupe, butternut squash, carrots, tuna, meats, dairy, sweet potatoes, dark leafy green veggies, and pumpkin. This vitamin is an infection fighter.
  4. Vitamin D Foods: Tuna, Vitamin D fortified milk or nut milk, Sardines, Salmon, and Mackerel. It is best to try and get this vitamin directly from food, however it is important to get a supplement if you don’t think you eat enough of it. Ask your doctor first.
  5. Folate/Folic Acid Foods: Enriched foods such as pasta, rice, bread, and cereals. Also lentils, beans and leafy green veggies. Check food labels for fortified or enriched.
  6. Iron Foods: Canned light tuna, clams, canned sardines, mussels, turkey, chicken, red meat, and oysters. If you don’t eat meat, you can get iron in kale, broccoli, beans, and iron fortified cereals.
  7. Selenium Foods: Brazil nuts, cottage cheese, poultry, liver, meat, and seafood.
  8. Zinc Foods: Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), baked beans, yogurt, oysters, crab, poultry, and lean meats.

If you can’t get your hands on any of these while they are fresh, frozen food or canned is a good option. You can still get the nutritional benefits of these foods.

Good luck fighting all those nasty things out there. With these foods, you should have quite the advantage.

Soothing Your Cabin Fever And The Winter Blues

If you ask most people, they may agree that a huge part of battling the winter is how we are all cooped up inside. The sunshine is gone most of the time and we start to really miss it.

Some people are cool with it and have large homes with lots of bright windows and space to do anything they wish. Other people may not be so lucky and live in a small apartment or even just one small bedroom. Some of them may not have many windows or available light.

Cabin fever starts to set in, and it is hard to break it. These things can make you miserable and contribute to mental issues in the cold months. This article includes some tips on how to make winter more enjoyable in small and dark spaces.

Read them below.

1. Light – Get a light box if you don’t have enough windows. They can be called light boxes, SAD lamps, Seasonal Affective Disorder lights, and more. This can give your body some of the same benefits as the sun while you are stuck inside. If you need to, get more than one.
2. Plan – Make plans to get out when you can. Do you know there’s a nicer winter day coming up in the forecast with sunshine and temperatures above 45? Plan on getting out and enjoying it if you aren’t already busy. Do you have a friend with a nicer home and larger indoor space? Perhaps they will work out with you or let you come enjoy a living room dance party with them. Maybe they have a ping pong table in their house you can play.
3. Programs – Join a gym, a sports team, a dance studio, a bowling league, or other good exercise program options. With the pandemic issues set aside, this is one of the best options for helping you get through cabin fever and get moving. Although it is understandable if not many people wish to go out and risk getting sick with infectious illnesses right now, considering the pandemic.
4. Organize – Move your stuff around. You may be able to make just enough room to do something enjoyable and fun. What can you put in storage? What can you put on top of or underneath something? Can you temporarily move something into another room? Get creative and see what you can do.
5. Sun – Open your curtains and blinds. Get as much light as you can. It may not be much, but this could make a big difference. Sunny winter days are great for the mood.

Hopefully with these tips shared here, the cold and snowy season won’t drive you nearly as crazy as usual. When times get tough, the tough ones get creative. Let’s keep our sights on spring.

Preventing Illness During Frigid And Dry Winter Months

Winter is a difficult season for so many different reasons.

It is cold as can be, there’s slippery ice and slush, everyone is cranky, and everything is dried out from available moisture being frozen instantly. If you can’t stand this weather, I am sure most people would agree.

The only thing worse than all these winter blahs would be the illnesses that can come with the season. This article is about any illnesses that may come up any time between November and March of each year and what to do about them.

Common Winter Illnesses Include:
• Sinus Infections
• Colds
• The Flu
• Covid and Variants
• Asthma
• Upper Respiratory Infections
• Allergic Reactions
• Pneumonia

Many of the above things can be prevented by staying in warm places as often as you can and making sure your home is not too dry or too humid. Try to avoid being outside in bitter cold temperatures to avoid freezing and drying out your sinuses and any exposed skin.

If you have a forced air furnace or other forced air space heat methods, your sinuses are going to get dry and irritated. The moisture in your home is very scarce due to all moisture being burned off through the heater or being frozen once it hits the outside air. If you can’t use a humidifier, boil pots of water on your stove or leave pots of water close to your furnace vents.

Other illnesses mentioned above that aren’t caused by cold air or moisture issues can be prevented in the following ways:

  1. Eat healthy and seek out foods with Vitamin A, C, D, and E. Also seek out Folate/Folic Acid, Iron, Selenium, and Zinc.
  2. Get regular exercise. If you can’t do much exercise frequently, do as much as you can. Try starting with 10 minutes per day. Then try a bit more each time and try different exercise methods to keep it interesting.
  3. Avoid interacting closely with people. If you must interact, wear a mask, wash your hands, and avoid touching anyone.
  4. Get enough sleep as often as possible. Sleep is one of your best defenses against sickness.
  5. Quit smoking and take care of your lungs. If you need help, there are a lot of different programs and people you can reach out to.

Every year we get through it and pop out on the other side when spring arrives. This year, make it more enjoyable and healthier by using the tips above. Happy winter!

Health And Wellness Based New Year’s Resolution Ideas

With the year 2022 coming up on us fast, it is yet again time to think about any positive changes we can make to start off the new year. The past couple of years have definitely been the most challenging for everyone during the ongoing pandemic, but here’s to moving forward regardless.

The following tips are for you to set a new resolution for your health and wellness.

New year’s resolution ideas for wellness and health:

1. Set realistic goals – If you overwhelm yourself with goals you may not be able to do, that will just set you up for failure and disappointment in yourself. That would lead to even less motivation to making changes. If you start off with smaller and more attainable goals, you are much more likely to achieve them. If you can’t run very well, it is a bad idea to want to be able to run 10 miles anytime soon. If you have never been able to do a push up, you may not be able to do 100 of them in a row by next year. See the next tip for more on this.
2. Break goals down into parts – What can you break into daily, weekly, monthly goals to reach a larger goal? Use a daily planner, calendar or notebook to help you realize your goals. Once something is written down, it makes it much easier to do. Try planning out some of your days by sticking something from your to do list on each day.
3. Drink more water – Most people definitely need to get more hydrated on a regular basis. If you drink mostly sodas, beers, or sugary drinks, you are most likely already quite dehydrated. Make it a goal to drink more water, even if you don’t like it. Use sugary beverages and alcohol as a reward once you’ve gotten enough water in your body.
4. Try natural household cleaners – Some of your cleaning supplies at home are too harsh and you may be able to smell it. Bleach and some other cleaning chemicals can make you cough and gag if you use it in an enclosed space. Try to look into natural plant or fruit based cleaners. Try using vinegar to clean things more often. Using too many household scents such as carpet cleaning powder, glad plug ins or spray air fresheners can irritate allergies and cause sinus problems as well.
5. Be active often – If you aren’t able to go to the gym or get a good workout in, that doesn’t mean you should give up. There are lots of fun options for things to do at home that will give you a good workout. You can do in-home yoga, push-ups, jumping jacks, squats, and more from home. Try buying video games with active elements such as Just Dance, Ring Fit games, Wii Fit games, Zumba games, and more!

Some bonus tips in addition to the 5 above include getting a workout buddy, creating cleaner eating habits, and making sure you get plenty of sleep as often as you can.

Here’s to hoping you have a very fun New Year’s Eve and a successful 2022 with your new goals!

Stay Healthy And Safe This New Year’s Eve

You may already be planning the fun you want to have on this New Year’s Eve.

Whether you go to New York City to party with big crowds or you will be in your own home, this article provides steps to do it with your health and safety in mind.

The topics in this article will include food safety, crowd navigation, drinking responsibly, careful driving tips, and winter weather driving warnings.

First, make sure you are handling food and cooking it safely. Heat raw meats and certain foods to the correct temperature. Avoid cross contamination of raw meat by using gloves, washing hands often, and not touching anything else with dirty hands. Don’t allow the food to sit out all day, and throw out meats and certain perishables that had been out for more than 4 hours. Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible. Remove food from the fridge and throw it out if it is old, smells funny, or looks bad.

Secondly, navigate crowds intelligently by making sure you have others with you at all times. Don’t go anywhere with strangers, leave valuables at home, keep your phone and wallet on you, don’t leave beverages unattended, and be very careful about taking any drugs or substances. Try to avoid taking any substances from someone you do not know.

The next tip is to drink carefully and responsibly if you must do it. Do not plan to drive if you will be drinking, and do not plan on riding with friends who have been drinking. Plan to have an Uber, Lyft, Taxi, Bus or other free designated driver services available on this night. Make sure you are eating enough food to go with the alcohol, and prevent alcohol poisoning by drinking plenty of water between drinks.

The fourth tip is how to carefully drive and avoid accidents. Not only will there be slicker and snowy weather, but there will also be other hazards. Many people on the road on NYE will be drinking and/or on drugs. Be extremely cautious of other drivers and their behaviors this night. In addition, consider pedestrian safety as well. Many pedestrians will be out bar hopping and walking the stress intoxicated. They may lose their sense of direction and end up in the street and in traffic. Drive very slowly and with your full attention.

The last tip includes winter weather safety on the road. If it is snowing or icy, the dangers grow tremendously with all things listed in the last paragraph. If the roads will be bad on NYE, just do not go out. Stay home. If you must go out, make sure your tires and vehicle can handle it, and drive extremely slowly.

There you have it! Hopefully these tips will make your New Year’s Eve party a success! Stay safe, keep your head on, and use it.

Christmas Gift Safety And Accident Prevention

It is time to get some last minute shopping done for gifts, and this is a good moment to consider what gifts are safe and which may cause some accidents on Christmas day. What comes to mind are some toys, certain types of scooters, motorized hover boards, bikes, and other potentially hazardous gifts.

Remember the famous quote from the Christmas movie: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Don’t get your kid a BB gun unless you know exactly what you are doing.

Although most toys are quite harmless, some toys can be hazardous enough to send your family to the emergency room on Christmas day. Many injuries happen when kids or people try to use a toy they are not familiar with in a house not suited for such toys. The internet is full of videos of people trying to use hover boards, bikes, and scooters inside, and they really get hurt sometimes.

According to Ange Qin from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:

“An estimated 224,200 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2019, and males accounted for 59 percent of the injuries.”

Also it is wise to consider plastic packaging on Christmas day while gifts are being opened at a furious pace. Don’t allow the plastic, ribbons, or other items to be caught up on your kids or your pets. Plastic can cause suffocation of infants and younger kids. Pets eating ribbons, plastic, and strings can cause a nasty vet bill or even death for your pet. Certain plastic packaging can be sharp and can cut someone as well. Be cautious.

In addition to toy safety, it is important to remember food safety. Which foods are you or your kids allergic to? Many holiday cookies, breads, and recipes contain allergens such as nuts, eggs, milk, chocolate, and others. If you have Celiac Disease, you may need to avoid eating at other people’s houses for fear of gluten poisoning. If you have family members or friends with certain allergies or food intolerance, consider them before making your holiday snacks and meals.

Take a few moments this holiday to consider possible hazards to your and your loved ones. It may make all the difference and help you to make better memories. Happy Holidays!

Holiday Stress Relief Techniques For An Enjoyable Season

As much as we love to celebrate the Holidays, they can bring a boat load of stress and overwhelm to our lives. It can be extra hard for people when the sunlight is gone so early and it is cold outside. Those suffering from seasonal depression have a hard time around the holidays.

There is so much to do but people don’t usually enjoy getting bundled up to go out into the cold for shopping and other holiday tasks.

This article is for those who need some stress relief ideas to get them through the holiday struggle.

How to reduce stress and enjoy the holidays:

1. Make sure you’re getting time for yourself. Arrange some time to spend alone to think and process everything going on around you. Find a babysitter for the kids if you need and think of your favorite things to do. Set aside as much time as you can to do relaxing things you like. Even if it means getting the house to yourself so you can drink wine and decorate your house in peace.
2. Work it out. Go to the gym or get some enjoyable exercise a couple days per week. Even if you feel like you don’t have much energy, you would be surprised to know how much better you will feel if you can squeeze in a couple of workouts during the week. Exercise releases happy brain chemicals to make you feel much better and help you think more clearly.
3. Include yourself in your Christmas lists. Get a few items for you to reward yourself for everything you’ve done right over the last year. Everyone should get something for themselves for Christmas while they’re busy gifting friends and family.
4. Ask for help from those who care for you. Who is your support system? Does your community have a support system for you to utilize? Is there anyone that you’ve been helpful for that could possibly return a favor for you and help you get caught up? Something as simple as having them come over to help you with the laundry, dishes, cleaning, or other tasks can make a big difference.
5. Watch your budget carefully. Don’t take out extra credit cards or overdraft your bank account just to give some material items to people you love. Know your limits, get creative, and only spend what you can afford to spend. Lack of money is a huge contributor to holiday stress. Don’t dig yourself deeper than you can get out of.

Use these tips and get the most out of your holiday season this year. Be safe, take care of yourself, and have fun this year!

Give The Gift Of A Gym Membership This Year

The best gift you can give someone is one that can help them stay healthy, active and happy.

Depending on packages to arrive in the mail can be risky when the post office, UPS, FedEx and others are backed up already.

This may be a good time to consider holiday shopping that doesn’t include ordering online and having things shipped. If you usually struggle with ideas for what holiday gifts to give friends and family, this article may help.

One good idea is to get your family, partners, coworkers, and friends a gym membership. If you only get them one or two months just to try it out, that would be a good idea. You may want to avoid spending the money it takes to buy an entire year of a gym membership if you think it may not be utilized. Another tip is to get them the gym membership and be sure you have one for yourself. You can support them at the gym and work out together. You could carpool and ride share as well.

This idea is especially helpful and smart if you have active friends who have very little space at home to utilize for exercise. Those who live in small apartments or rent out a bedroom are sure to feel claustrophobic and experience cabin fever at home. Helping them get out of their home and into a bigger warm building may be the key to boost their spirits.

Some gyms and exercise centers have gift cards available to buy as well. These can be used to get a membership, attend group exercise classes, purchase fitness merchandise, and more.

If your loved one likes to go swimming, check out which local places have open swimming times. If they enjoy playing basketball, find a gym with a couple different gymnasiums open for use. Each gym will come with its own set of benefits and options. Some gyms only have fitness equipment such as treadmills, stair steppers, and weight rooms. Some gyms have a wide variety of equipment, rooms, and facilities to meet your needs.

Whoever you want to give a gift to this year, it is wise to consider giving them an option for improving their health and wellness.