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Tips for Staying Warm This Winter

Tuesday, January 24, 2017- by Euro-American Connections & Homecare

mittens

As the temperatures drop to icy lows set in here in the northeast, we bet you’ve been wondering how to keep warm in winter. Whether it’s you or your client that you’re worried about, here are some helpful ways to keep comfortable.

adult shivering

Why do we shiver?

As we age, our bodies have a harder time adjusting to the cold. Take the time to become more aware of your body’s reactions to colder temperatures, as well as your older relatives’ and loved ones. When we shiver, the sudden movement causes your muscles to contract, which generates temporary heat. If you ever find yourself shivering in any environment, take it as a sign to bundle up and move somewhere warmer. This is the first step to knowing how to keep warm in the winter.

You are what you eat

Did you know that the lower your BMI, or Body Mass Index, the more prone you may be to always feeling cold (even in summer!) Although too much fat in the body is detrimental to our development and overall health, we needit to stay insulated. If you tend to skip meals or prefer a lighter diet, make sure you are consuming the necessary number of calories that your body requires. If you’re worried about how to keep warm in the winter, in particular, visit your doctor or consult with a nutritionist to develop a meal plan that will provide a healthy balance of iron, protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats and other nutrients, as well as calories to keep your body going. If you’re looking for a quick cold-remedy, always go for a hearty soup or warm tea to not only keep you warm, but keep you relaxed.

Happy senior couple with snowman

The more layers, the better

A fun way to learn more about how to keep warm in the winter is to take a look at the insulation in your home. Just like our homes need proper insulation to keep out the cold, our bodies need insulation as temperatures drop. First comes the undershirt, then comes the sweater. There’s a wonderful app out there called “Sunshine” that updates you on the current temperature and most importantly suggests what to wear throughout the day.

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Get active- even when you don’t feel like it!

More often than not, we feel cold after sitting for a long period of time. The heart rate slows, mind gets fuzzy, but suddenly-you feel like you’re freezing! You cope with it by wrapping yourself in a warm blanket and setting the fire on in your living room. While this is a very relaxing and comforting way to stay warm, there are more “physical” ways to learn how to keep warm in the winter. Consider adding in at least 20 minutes of physical activity to your routine. Try jogging in place, tidying up a room in your home, and dancing like nobody’s watching. Let me also suggest getting together with friends, family and even going out on a date with someone you care about. Nothing warms you up faster than a good laugh than that special someone.

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Pay attention to your health!

Older adults suffering from cardiovascular disease are prone to feeling cold more often than not, because the heart does not pump blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) throughout the body that you need to stay healthy.

Certain medications that older adults take, such as alpha-blockers, beta-blockers and direct vasodilators make you more sensitive to cold as well. Pay attention to the medications you are taking and any changes or sensations you experience while taking them – especially if you’re cold all the time.

Hypothyroidism is also a big problem among many Americans. Weakened thyroid glands (which produce hormones) lead to thinning hair, dry skin, fatigue and a higher sensitivity to the cold. Be sure to consult with your doctor for ways to keep your thyroid, medications and overall health in check to know how to keep warm in the winter.

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