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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.