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The Surprising Impact of Cold Weather on the Body

By Brandi Swieter

While many people may not think of Georgia as a cold state, there are times when the cold does set in. Seeing temperatures in the 30s and below come January, residents of the state normally living a warm life can suffer from the cold quickly. There is some surprising impact of cold weather on the body that people should be aware of to help prevent it when possible.

The Immune System

The immune system tends to take a hit in the winter. More people remain indoors in close contact with others. This close proximity can lead to the spread of many illnesses, such as influenza and the common cold. Washing hands as often as possible is one of the best ways to prevent this from happening.

The Heart

The cold weather can narrow blood vessels in the body because it acts as a vasoconstrictor. The risk of heart attack becomes increased during the cold weather season for this reason. To prevent problems, people need to dress as warmly as possible when having to brave the cold, and should really remain indoors as often as possible. Those with heart troubles should avoid spending large amounts of time outside, particularly while doing strenuous activities, such as shoveling. Leave the task to healthier members of the household.

The Skin

Moisture can leave the skin quickly when the cold air hits it. Because of this, it’s necessary to use extra moisturizing cream during the winter season. Find one with an oil base to help prevent evaporation. It is also important to shower in lukewarm water, rather than hot. By using a humidifier in the home as well, the top layer of the skin can get back moisture that’s been lost.

Balance

Ice on the sidewalks and streets makes it more difficult than usual to walk. People often lose their balance because of this, falling and causing serious damage to their bodies. Breaks and fractures are common during winter time. It is best to avoid icy surfaces and wear boots with traction to keep balance in tact as much as possible.

The cold weather has many surprising impacts on the body. From the immune system to the heart and much more, all areas of the body can be affected by the cold. People should do their best to remain indoors when possible and bundle up well when having to face the chill of the outdoor air to avoid the effects.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Evans, Ga.

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