In addition to dangerous driving conditions and potential power outages, it’s important to be aware of the effects of winter weather on your health.
Ice and snow significantly increase one’s risk of falls. Falling even from a short distance can cause serious damage to your health, especially in elderly individuals who have weaker bones and joints. Use these important safety tips provided by www.MontgomeryCountyMd.gov.
- Arrange to have snow and ice removed from sidewalks and steps.
- Wear boots or shoes with deep treads or traction slip-ons.
- Avoid going out alone into snowy or icy conditions. Use handrails on both sides of outdoor stairs. Take your time while walking.
- Shuffle along with short, low steps and avoid a stiff posture. Keep hands out of your pockets since you’ll need them to restore balance if you slip.
- Carefully consider whether to walk over uncleared snow or to go around it. Test how slippery a potentially slick area is by tapping your foot on it.
Protect Your Heart
Avoid Excess Exertion: For example, avoid vigorous snow shoveling, especially if you are not used to exercise. Snow shoveling can cause plaque to rupture, triggering a heart attack. It is important to warm up your muscles before snow shoveling. Also, work to clear snow gradually and slowly, take frequent breaks. Those with heart conditions should avoid snow shoveling altogether. Learn the signs and symptoms of a heart attack at www.TrustedHeartCare.com. If you think you’re experiencing signs of a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.
Stay Warm: Frigid temperatures reduce body heat and prolonged exposure can cause hypothermia. Protect yourself by wearing layers for warmth and avoiding prolonged exposure to cold, wind, rain and snow.
Exercise Wisely: Physical activity for 30 minutes a day, about five times a week, is recommended. This activity includes anything that makes your body burn calories. Try and take your exercise indoors during inclement weather, whether it’s using your local gym, lifting light weights at home or walking the mall. Learn how exercise can also help lower your risk of falls by keeping bones and joints healthy.