Common Health Problems in Cold Weather

16 views | 11:00am on Tuesday 9th February 2021

While the crisp winter air can be welcomed to chase away the sweltering humidity of the summer, it can have a detrimental impact on your overall health. Common health problems in cold weather are heart attacks, asthma, and even depression. Thus, It’s crucial to take precautions to reduce your risk of those. 

We’ll take a look at the top 10 ways you are susceptible to cold weather how to fight back.

health problems in cold weather

What are health problems in cold weather?

How cold weather does affect your health

Cold weather doesn’t directly affect your chance of catching a virus. However, it forces people to spend more time inside and in close contact with each other. This allows viruses to spread easily.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated that dry winter air is a great condition for the flu virus to survive and transmit. Besides, research suggests that cold temperatures make flu virus’ coating tougher, so they transmit in the winter with ease and cause many health problems in cold weather.

Health problems in winter

Take a close look at the following cold weather health problems and tips to avoid them.

Flu

It’s easier to get sick with the flu viruses during the winter months. Cold temperatures, lack of sunlight, or different lifestyles are the primary contributing ones. To prevent spreading the flu virus, you should wash your hands and get a flu shot.

health problems in cold weather

Health problems in cold weather you should be aware

Asthma attacks

Asthma is one of the most common health problems in cold weather. If you plan on going out in the elements, make sure to cover your nose and mouth with a mask or scarf to keep from breathing in the cold, dry air. Instead of taking outdoor workout, you can exercise indoors to stay fit in the winter 

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is one of the most common cold weather health problems caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Its symptoms are likely similar to those of the flu: fever, muscle aches, dry cough, and fatigue. One of the most effective ways to prevent pneumonia is by getting an annual influenza vaccine. 

Heart Attacks

The drop in temperatures causes blood vessels to narrow, raising the risk of a heart attack. Hence, it’s important to keep you warm when going outside by putting in a hat, gloves, and a warm coat. Exercising is crucial, but avoid doing any strenuous activity outdoors such as shoveling snow as it can put much pressure on your heart.

health problems in cold weather

Common health problems in cold weather

Sore throat

A sore throat can be caused by viruses, dry air, or pollution. It is often accompanied by other health problems in cold weather such as a runny nose, cough, and sneezing. 

Skin

Winter sets in with cold weather and low humidity, which can suck the moisture from your skin and leave it dull. So, skincare in winter is important to make your skin glow and fresh. Apart from drinking at least 64 ounces of water every day, you should use a moisturizer with an oil base to block evaporation and a humidifier to replenish moisture. Avoid strong soap and hot water as they may remove the oil needed for your skin. 

Also read: Summer skin care tips

Hypothermia

When it comes to health problems in cold weather, we couldn’t get hypothermia ignored. The chances of hypothermia are high in cold temperatures, especially for the old due to prolonged exposure to mild cold. If you're going outside, make sure to dress warmly and be aware of signs such as stiffness in the neck, arms, and legs.  

Weight gain

Well, cold and unruly weather can be an excuse for reduced exercise and oversleeping. Moreover, It’s likely that the numbers on the scale will rise because of rich holiday foods and gatherings. 

 

health problems in cold weather

Health problems in cold weather: Weight gain

To fight weight gain, you need to get at least 30 minutes of exercise and keep holiday sweets away.

Seasonal depression

The winter has a real effect on not only your body but also your mind. Specifically, seasonal depression is one of the most common health problems in cold weather. This can be caused by decreased sunlight and daylight hours or the loss of a loved one during the holidays or the lack of social engagement.

Beating the winter blues is not that difficult. In addition to getting natural sunlight during the day, you should spend more time outdoors, engaging in social activities. Another important reminder, get a sufficient amount of sleep about eight hours to light up your mood.

Indoor Allergies

In winter, people are more prone to allergies caused by dust mites, mold, and pet dander. Some typical signs you have seasonal allergies are sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose. To beat them, you need a combination of decreasing your exposure to allergens and strenthen your immune system. Add probiotics to your daily regimen, and eat food that has less amount of sugar.

Tips to avoid health problems in winter

There are lots of things you can do to avoid health problems in cold weather.

  • Wash your hands

This is considered one of the simplest and most important ways to keep a cold or the flu at bay. Germs are everywhere, from tables to elevator buttons. You may get exposed yourself to those microbes if your fingers keep close contact with your eyes. 

 

health problems in cold weather

Tips to avoid health problems in cold weather

  • Heat the home

You are recommended to heat your home at a minimum temperature of 18°C, at which we feel changes in the body. So, temperatures above this are best to protect your health.

  • Exercise

Moving around can also help as this keeps the blood flowing around the body which can prevent clotting. If you’ve ever sat still for any prolonged period you’ll know you feel the cold more acutely. If you can’t move around, wiggle your toes and fingers. It may not sound like much but even small measures like this can help keep you warm and well.

  • Stay up to date with weather forecasts 

To prevent health problems in cold weather, you should make checking the weather forecast a habit. If you know a spell of cold is on the way do what you can to prepare for it. By getting shopping early and fetching prescriptions, your exposure to really cold conditions could be minimized, lessening the chances of getting ill. There is plenty of useful information out there on how to stay well and warm this winter, including the Met Office and NHS websites.

health problems in cold weather

  • Ensure adequate nutrition

Food is a source of energy needed to keep the body warm in winter. Therefore, if you want to keep your body warm, you should eat enough meals and get the necessary amount of nutrients.

The amount of food provided will help the calorie-burning process smoothly, creating conditions for constant heat generation for the body. In addition, food also provides necessary energy through the amount of sugar absorbed, increasing the ability to stay warm in cold weather. 

Dairy products affect your congestion and your ability to fight off viruses, so cut back on them.

  • Get a flu vaccine

Flu is a contagious disease and is very easy to break into an epidemic. It can lead to complications such as sinus infections, ear infections and pneumonia. So Therefore, getting a flu shot every year is recommended by health experts.

The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine that help protect people from flu and its complications. Autumn is the best time to have the flu vaccine, but you can get the vaccine later.

health problems in cold weather

 Tips to Prevent Health Problems in Cold Weather

  • Dress properly

It’s best to wear several layers of lightweight and warm clothing as this allows you to adjust as you warm up or cool down. The outer layer should be water and wind resistant. Don’t forget your hands and head. To keep you from cold weather health hazards, you should put on mittens, a hat or scarf. Wear sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes.

Conclusion

There is a lot of health problems in cold weather that can be caused by multiple factors. Hope those tips above will help you boost your immune system and stay safe during winter.