How the cold weather puts your health at risk - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

How the cold weather puts your health at risk

(FOX19 NOW/File) (FOX19 NOW/File)

Frigid temperatures in the Tri-State have the potential to negatively impact your health. The following are ways you can lower your risk for health problems during the storm. 

According to the Harvard Health Letter, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • At risk: Heart

Cold weather acts as a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows blood vessels. This raises the risk of heart attack.

What you can do: Dress warmly when going out, with a hat, gloves, and a warm coat. Don’t do any strenuous activity outdoors that may stress your heart, such as shoveling snow.

  • At risk: Balance

Icy sidewalks can make falling easier, putting you at risk for fractures.

What you can do: Avoid slippery surfaces if possible. Wear shoes or boots with heavily textured soles that can grip surfaces.

Use handrails, even if you feel you don’t need one.

  • At risk: Skin

Dry winter air can suck the moisture from your skin.

What you can do: Use a moisturizer with an oil base to block evaporation. Shower in lukewarm—not hot—water. Use a humidifier to replenish moisture to the skin’s top layer. 

  • At risk: Body temperature

Older adults are at risk for hypothermia, in which the body’s internal temperature falls too low. Even prolonged exposure to mild cold can cause it.

What you can do: Bundle up if you’re going outside, and be aware of signs that your body isn’t handling the cold well, such as stiffness in the neck, arms, and legs.

Call 911 if you suspect you or someone you know is suffering from hypothermia.

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