Healthy New Year's Resolutions It’s that time of year again. Time to start making your New Year’s Resolutions (if you haven’t already). Mindful eating practices. These days, it’s common to chow down with your eyes glued to a screen, but eating when you’re distracted leads to overeating. Take time to slow down and pay attention to your food, pausing to put down utensils between bites. It’s easier to notice when you are full when you eat mindfully. Plus you will more likely enjoy the foods you eat. Chill out and rest up. When it’s time to sleep, it’s time to chill – literally. Studies have shown that people sleep better when it’s colder and when their feet are outside of the covers. Knocking the thermostat down to 68 degrees or lower before you tuck into bed can help you sleep better. Darken your room by drawing the curtains or dimming the display on your alarm clock to really get those quality sleep. Be conscious of your gratitude. Take some time at the beginning or end of the day to reflect on what you’re grateful for, and consider starting a gratitude journal. A daily grateful check-in minimizes the distorting influence of stress. Reminding ourselves of the small, everyday positive aspects of our lives helps to develop a sense of balance and perspective that can enhance well-being. Walking 30 minutes per day. Getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day can be as simple as taking a walk. If you’ve got a busy schedule, take three 10-minute walks throughout your day. That’s 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes at lunch and then 10 minutes after work. Make it fun! Grab a partner at work to get you through your lunch routine. Or make your work meetings, walking meetings. Step it up. Making small, daily changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator may seem minor, but they can make a big difference for your heart in the long run. Commit to a 30-day fitness challenge You hear about them regularly, especially this time of year—the fitness challenge. Pick a fitness activity that’s easy and doesn’t require equipment, and commit to it for 30 days. There are many options to challenge yourself: practicing yoga, taking regular walks or joining a fitness class. Find what motivates you. Whatever you do, make yourself accountable. We look forward to seeing you in 2020! Happy New Year!
Preventing Hypothermia With cold winter weather here in Colorado, we sometimes need to think about hypothermia. The following from the CDC is what you need to know about it, who is at risk, and what to do if you or a loved one has it. What is hypothermia?
- Hypothermia is caused by prolonged exposure to very cold temperatures. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it is produced. Lengthy exposures will eventually use up your body’s stored energy, which leads to lower body temperature.
- Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know that it’s happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
- While hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
- Older adults with inadequate food, clothing, or heating
- Babies sleeping in cold bedrooms
- People who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.
- People who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.
- Exhaustion or feeling very tired
- Fumbling hands
- Memory loss
- Slurred speech
- bright red, cold skin
- very low energy
How Cold Weather Affects Health Did you know that cold weather can be hard on your health? It can affect your health in a variety of ways, including weight gain, viruses such as cold and flu, frostbite, etc. Learn how to keep warm this winter season.Your body requires extra fuel to keep warm. To get that extra fuel, you tend to eat more. This allows your body to store extra fat to better insulate your body and keep you warm. You can lose weight during the winter months by watching what you eat and staying active. Rather than packing on the pounds to keep warm, try layering clothes to insulate your body temperature. Wear close fitting base layers first, then an insulating mid-layer, and last, a looser fitting wind or waterproof layer such as a jacket. Physical Cold Risks Several physical risks from direct cold include the following:
- Heart attacks increase in the winter because the drop in temperature concentrates your blood at the core of your body, which in turn increases blood pressure and puts more strain on your heart. The cold also makes your body work harder, thus putting stress on your heart to ensure you stay warm. If you have high blood pressure or an existing heart condition, be sure to talk with your doctor due to an increased risk for heart attack.
- Slips and trips increase during the winter months due to wearing worn down shoes or improper shoes on slick surfaces. Try to wear boots or shoes with good tread. Salt your sidewalks and driveways with ice melt salt to prevent slipping and falling when walking out to your car.
- Frostbite and frostnip are also major risks when exposed to cold temperatures. These are caused by lack of blood to a part of the body. Your body will want to concentrate your blood around your core to preserve your heart, lungs, and brain. This leaves your fingers, toes, arms, and legs at risk for frostbite and frostnip. Frostbite or frostnip can cause permanent damage, loss of limb, or in severe cases death.
- Hypothermia is another risk when exposed to direct cold. This happens when you lose body heat faster than your body can make it. Your core body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If your core drops to or below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia will set in. Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, numb extremities, loss of dexterity, and feeling extremely cold. If hypothermia is left untreated, it will lead to complete failure of your heart and lungs, causing death.
It’s holiday time! Tis the season for holiday celebrations, libations, big meals, gifts and decorations. We love the holidays, but we also want to make sure you are considering your health over these great celebrations. Enjoy these tips for a Healthy Holiday season.According to the CDC, the following are helpful tips for making your health and safety a priority over the holidays.
- Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. It’s flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
- Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
- Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
- Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke.
- Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
- Get exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
- Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
- Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
- Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
- Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
- Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
December 1-7 is National Influenza Vaccination (Flu Shot) WeekAccording the the CDC, the Flu isn’t a “bad cold” and can result in serious health complications, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, and can lead to hospitalization. Flu can sometimes even lead to death.
- Most people who get flu will recover in several days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop serious flu complications
- All people are at risk of developing serious flu complications and certain groups are at higher risk. For people at higher risk, flu is more likely to lead to serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.
- People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, and people 65 years and older.
- Anyone who gets flu can pass it to someone at high risk of severe illness, including children younger than 6 months who are too young to get a flu vaccine.