Avoid a Winter of Discontent

Between colds and flus and slips and falls, the colder months wreak havoc on the human body. Here are a few tips for staying healthy and safe until the thaw.

Stay healthy. Small precautions make a big difference.

  1. Keep the bugs away: Wash your hands at every opportunity; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and lips; and get a flu shot.
  2. Hydrate: Drink plenty of fluids, but also consider giving your nose a shot of saline a few times a day.
  3. Live healthy: Exercise, get plenty of sleep, eat fruits and veggies, and limit your alcohol intake.
  4. Breathe easy: Use a humidifier whenever possible and avoid smokers.

Stay safe. Protect your body when you’re out in the elements.

  1. Look sharp: Pay attention to where you step, watching out for icy spots, pot holes, and other winter hazards.
  2. Stay upright: Wear sensible shoes. If you have to walk on ice, take small steps.
  3. Fall well: If you do fall, try to turn sideways and land on your thigh, hip, and shoulder. Do your best to relax, and don’t catch yourself with your hands or let your head hit the ground.
  4. Shovel smart: When shoveling, use your legs, not your back. Don’t try to lift heavy piles of wet snow.
  5. Warm up: Cold muscles strain more easily. Warm up before shoveling or playing in the snow.
  6. Drive with care: Leave extra room in front of you. Take your time and be aware of the traffic around you.

The best tip of all? Whether you get the sniffles or take a tumble, see your doctor as soon as possible. Catching a problem early can help you get over it sooner.

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