Winter Habits for Better Health
By Donna Stark
Were you ever told that if you didn't put a hat on before you went outside as a child, you would catch a cold? And if you were, did you wonder if that was really true? Well, whoever was telling you that was surely only looking out for your best interests, but the truth is that cold weather alone will not make you sick. Rather, human behavior is usually the culprit. Take a look.
The Common Cold
Millions of people suffer from the common cold, and some people even catch it several times a year. These viral infections can cause a runny nose, sore throat, headaches, congestion, and a cough. The most important habits you should follow to reduce your risk of catching a cold is to wash your hands frequently, keep your fingers away from your face, eat a nutrient-dense diet, and get plenty of rest.
Are you coughing, wheezing, or having trouble with your breathing? Cold weather and indoor allergens can exacerbate your asthma, so pay special attention to your airways. Limit time outside, bundle up with a scarf, invest in a good home air purifier, and use a humidifier at night while you sleep.
Those chilly days may be bringing more to your life than overcast skies and a couple of snow flurries. They may also be bringing pain and discomfort to your joints. Your joints may be extremely sensitive to the cold, but if you dress warmly, stay hydrated, indulge in some hot baths, and pull out those heating pads, you may be able to survive the next several weeks.
If there is one thing that winter is known for, it's the dry skin that most of us end up with, and that's because the cool, dry air outside and the warm, drier air indoors doesn't do our bodies any favors. From cracked bleeding hands to incredibly chapped lips to itchy backs and legs, it's easy to see how dry skin can become a major source of irritation. Some ways to stay on top of your skin health is to moisturize your skin with a rich lotion, add humidifiers throughout your home, and avoid too much exposure outdoors.
Now, let's get back to the hat. Of course, if you are heading outdoors for an extended amount of time, it may be wise to put a hat on. But, if you really want to avoid the minor pains and discomforts of winter, check your daily habits. You may find more success with some simple changes to those.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Raleigh, N.C.