How the Cold Weather Can Impact Your Overall Health

Cold weather can have an impact on your health, whether it is good or bad. It’s important to be aware of all health risks no matter the time of year. Visit AFC Urgent Care Bedford for any emergency illness or injury that is not life-threatening.

Benefits of Cold Weather

Cold air can have benefits on the body in regard to inflammation, muscle pain, and fibromyalgia. In controlled settings, cold air is used as a treatment for these ailments, so outside cold air can begin to have the same effect. Additionally, exercising in the cold air, like running, for example, burns more calories and increases the amount of energy burnt off. After working out, your body will continue to try and stay warm, and this increases the amount of energy and calories burnt off.

Lastly, studies have been conducted on worms and mice that show exposure to cold air increased their life expectancy by 20%. Further studies need to be conducted if the same applies to humans.

Risks of Cold Weather

Increased risk of illness

The risks of cold weather affecting health are higher than the benefits, with illnesses such as flu season. Getting sick with the flu can increase your risk of other illnesses, especially in those that have compromised immune systems. Flu season is so prominent in the winter season because the pathogens thrive in cold, dry air. You are more likely to get sick with the flu while walking outside in the cold than inside a warm building.

Increased risk of heart attack

The cold weather causes our blood vessels to constrict and adds stress to our hearts. Those with heart disease are more likely to have chest pain and discomfort in cold weather. Additionally, shoveling snow or doing activities that cause your heart to pump can cause a heart attack. Take breaks frequently and dress warmly to help your body from overworking itself. If you begin to experience chest pain while outside, you may want to seek medical attention in the emergency room.

Cold air affects asthma

The cold, dry air can make it difficult to breathe if you have a history of asthma. The cold air makes air passages contract, which can cause difficulty breathing. Using a humidifier and keeping your home warm can help alleviate this problem. While outside, keeping your mouth covered with a mask or scarf or closed, in general, can help to breathe in general.

Hypothermia

Cold air can also cause hypothermia in some patients if they are not appropriately dressed for the weather. While you can lose body heat from any exposed part of your body, wearing a hat, gloves, and a scarf can lower your risk of hypothermia.