Health effects of cold weather-All you Need to Know about Winter
Different parts of the world have different levels of cold either during the winter season or all the time in some places. In addition, winter is experienced at different times of the calendar around the world with the first and last day of winter being from 1 December to February 28 (February 29 for leap year).
If you live in a place that gets struck by extreme cold resulting from abnormal drop in the temperatures of a place, you understand just how adverse the effects of cold can be.
Life is precious and your health is one of the most important things that you should prioritize, especially during seasons like winter where things get nasty.
Those who say prevention is better than cure has substantial reasons to support their claim and we can all agree that the quote has proven right on many occasions.https://www.marginseye.com/collections/winter-fashion
Let’s get it started by asking this question; How prepared are you for the winter season? Preparing for anything requires time, meaning you should get all your winter gears ready before the season begins.
This helps you avoid last minute panic buying like in a case where you are purchasing a winter item and it also puts you at risk of developing a cold-related health problem if you fail to buy the needed gears.
Taking the winter cold lightly is one of the biggest mistakes people make. There are those who just choose to ignore despite being very much aware of what they might be getting themselves into especially during snow storms. There are snow activities you can explore during the winter season or you can visit some of the most amazing winter scenes such as snow in a big bear.
For those who have no knowledge of the health risks associated with cold weather or snow weather, read on as in I try to share with you what I have learnt about the possible health hazards of exposing yourself to too much cold.
Adverse Effects of cold weather
There are a number of dangers of cold weather to the health of an individual during the winter months. Some of these are:
- Heart related diseases- heart diseases don’t only result from common causes like the choice of foods, excessive use of alcohol or caffeine, drug abuse and stress but also from excessive cold. During the winter season, there are higher risks of heart attack compared to other seasons. The heart tends to get overworked to keep your body warm. With an underlying health condition related to the heart and high blood pressure, you are at high risk of experiencing a heart attack.
Eating healthy food and engaging in physical exercises is good for your heart but it is never enough when the weather is extremely cold. The best way to ensure you remain safe is keeping warm. Wear heavy clothing and shoes to help retain your body temperature even when the outside environment hits the lowest degrees.
- Hypothermia – During cold seasons, the body loses a lot of heat which is sometimes more than twice as much as it gains.
Hypothermia is caused by an abnormal drop in body temperature that goes below 35◦C. This disease can contribute to worse health conditions if not prevented or treated in time. The condition is usually characterized by symptoms such as fatigue, losing focus and having abnormally many short calls among other symptoms.
- Obesity - Most people spend most of their time indoors in cold weather. When locked inside all day for a while, you barely engage in physical activities like strenuous exercises. Lack of such exercises which is also referred to as living a sedentary life contributes to weight gain and obesity. As much as your dietary choices determine how much weight you can gain or lose, exercises play a vital role in helping maintain good health and keep you fit all the time.
Whether you’re writing your novel, playing your video game or just spending some quality time with family, it is important to set aside some time for exercises for yourself and family to keep them healthy. It is also necessary that you understand the health benefits of exercises so that you can have reason to put in some work or effort.
- Frostbite – High levels of cold can lead to frostbite (a condition that results from the freezing of the skin and skin tissues). Failing to cover parts like your cheeks, chin, nose, toes and fingers with warm clothing can put you at risk of having frostbite. It is important to take seriously any slight signs of the disease since its symptoms sometimes last for about six months.
Does Cold weather affect everyone?
Extremely cold weather has an effect on almost everyone’s health. It is advisable to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself regardless of your vulnerability. Some of the people who are likely to experience the adverse effects of cold are:
- People with chronic diseases or who have had such diseases before – Asthma, diabetes and heart related diseases are some common examples.
- Newborns and infants
iii. People over the age of 60
- Those who work outside for long hours.
How to keep yourself safe from cold-related health problems this winter season.
Nobody wants to develop a health condition that they are able to prevent but chose to ignore. Once again, the best way to keep away from any disease is by protecting yourself from it.
There are quite a number of ways that you can use to put yourself on the safe side. Let’s have a look at some of them:
- Check on your diet and eating habits – When eating, your sole target shouldn’t be just about getting satisfied or filling your stomach. Think about the high amounts of heat that your body needs especially in a cold environment.
Eat foods that generate enough heat during digestion and that can help keep your body warm. Some of the foods that can help you get warm are; Oats, sweet potatoes, bananas, red meat, butternut squash and ginger tea. Remember that taking too much red meat has certain health risks since it is high in cholesterol. Eat reasonable amounts.
Try getting used to having at least three meals a day during cold times.
- Wear warm clothing and shoes – Protecting your body from cold should be your first priority if you live in a cold region. Put on a heavy jacket, socks and wear a warm winter boot to keep your feet warm. Try trench coats, long coats and electric USB heated vests if you work out in the cold all day.
You should consider neck warmers and face scarfs too to help keep your face warm. Hand gloves can save the day when you want to keep your hands protected.
- Engage in physical activities and exercises – Strenuous exercises or activities help increase the body’s metabolic rate. With high metabolic rates, the body gets just enough warmth to take you through in a cold environment. Exercises also help burn calories and prevent weight gain which can lead to obesity.
Walking a mile or two is not enough if you want reasonable results. Achieving physical fitness is tough especially if you spend most of your time indoors.
If you find it a challenge, try fitness accessories such as elastic resistance bands and dumbbells for simple but effective exercises.
Winter occurs during the coldest months of the year when the planet earth is inclined far from the sun. This requires the sun beams to travel long distances to reach the earth’s surface during the cold weather. The long stretches of daylight are restricted causing the colder temperatures that lead to downpour and winter snow in high scope centers, as opposed to during summer and autumn. During winter, it is worth knowing how winter snow forms when the atmospheric temperature is below freezing point (0 degrees) with little moisture in the air, and how snow squalls occurs when cold air blows over warm water bodies, and the related snow squall risks. The winter solstice happens due to the tilted earth’s rotation at about 23.4 degrees relative to the earth’s orbit around the sun.