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How to Stay Healthy in Winter Weather

While winter can be a beautiful season, the snow, ice and cold temperatures that winter often brings can create unique health risks. Here are tips to staying as healthy as possible this winter.

1. Check the Weather Before You Leave the House.

Since weather conditions can change overnight, it’s wise to check a weather report before you leave the house every day. Weather reports will advise you about the temperature, wind chill and any expected precipitation so you can plan your clothing appropriately, plan your transportation for the day, and buy any supplies you may need.

2. Stock Up on Supplies.

Since weather conditions can deteriorate rapidly, it’s wise to always be prepared. We recommend keeping water, blankets, snacks, a flashlight and a First Aid kit in your car, as well as any medications you may need. It’s also wise to stock your home with water and non-perishable food in case inclement weather prevents you from leaving the house for a few days.

3. Get a Flu Shot.

Influenza rates peak between December to March, causing approximately 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations each year. The flu shot has been shown to prevent 22% of influenza-related deaths, which means that flu shots save thousands of lives! Contrary to popular belief, the flu shot is not a live vaccine, meaning it cannot give you the flu. It’s recommended that all patients ages 6 months and up receive a flu shot every year.

4. Pay Attention to Your Heart.

Rates of heart attacks rise by as much as 30% in the coldest months of the year. This is due to several factors. First, cold weather causes an increase in blood pressure and cholesterol, which are both risk factors for heart disease. Second, in cold weather people often engage in exertional activities like skiing and snow shoveling, which puts an added strain on the heart. And third, people often indulge in alcohol and sugary, fatty foods during winter holidays, which can worsen chronic health conditions like diabetes, and cause heart arrhythmias and heart attacks. So this winter, it’s wise to lower as many cardiac risk factors as possible, and seek immediate medical attention if you have any symptoms of a heart attack, including chest pain, arm tingling or numbness, jaw pain, shoulder pain, nausea, dizziness or increased sweating.

We're Here to Help.

At GoHealth Urgent Care we’re open seven days a week to help you stay as healthy as possible this winter! Click below if there’s anything we can do to help you feel better today:

 

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