Noble Horizons partners with Symbria to bring you customized in and out-patient rehabilitation plans that can help improve your physical function, relieve and control pain, and prevent further injury or impairment. As winter settles in, these tips can help you maintain your health and fitness through the cold, dark days. Be sure to attend our FREE Balance and Fall Prevention classes taught by our Rehab professionals on Wednesdays, 10:30-11:30 am.
Winter Safety Tips
To stay fit safe and well during the winter try these tips
Dress for Weather: Dress in loose layers since the air between layers helps trap warmth, wear a hat, gloves, and scarf to prevent heat loss, wear proper footwear with traction, wear a waterproof coat or jacket if snowy, and change clothes right away if they get damp or wet.
Hypothermia: Know the warning signs for hypothermia which includes moving or speaking more slowly, confusion, sleepiness, cold feet-hands, pale skin, shivering, slow heartbeat, shallow or slow breathing, or loss of consciousness.
Avoid Frostbite: Cover exposed skin to avoid frostbite and watch for skin that is white, ashy, grayish-yellow, feels hard or waxy, or numbness. If suspected run affected area under warm, not hot, water and call for medical help.
Avoid or Limit Space Heater Use: While tempting, to use, these devices are the cause of many fatal home fires and people over 65 are 2.5 times more likely to die
Keep an Emergency Kit: In the event of power loss have flashlight/batteries, hand-warmers, manual can opener, battery-powered weather radio, first aid supplies, battery-operated phone charger or pre-paid cell phone, whistle, cash, matches/lighter, and one week's supply of food and water.
Car Emergency Kit: Carry blankets, extra clothing, booster cables, windshield scraper, shovel, water, dried food, rock salt or kitty litter, flashlight, and map.
Fires and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, or other heating sources like natural gas or kerosene, ensure that there is proper venting to avoid fire or carbon monoxide exposure. Warning signs of carbon monoxide exposure, which is an odorless gas, are headache, weakness, nausea/vomiting, dizziness, confusion, blurred vision, or loss of consciousness.
Walk indoors: Walking is a great exercise anytime, but to avoid icy sidewalks, find someplace to walk inside including a shopping mall, indoor track, museum, or around the dining room table.
Lift weights: Follow along with a home exercise DVD, with small weights or bands to keep muscles strong.
Swim: It may be cold outside, but the water can be delightful, and the benefits of aquatic exercise are substantial. From buoyancy, which is joint protective, to fully surrounding resistance which builds strength, the water is a great place to be.
Exercise Outdoors: If you decide to exercise outdoors it would be helpful to dress in layers, wear a hat and gloves to prevent heat loss, wear proper footwear with traction, check the forecast to eliminate surprises, and consider a hiking pole for extra stability and safety.
Fresh Air and Sunshine: Sunshine and the Vitamin D it imparts to your body is a key to battling winter blues. Try to get a little fresh air and sunshine every day to give your body a boost. Can't get outside? Sit by a sunny window to allow the sun to boost your energy and mood.
Communicate Intentions: If you are heading out for some exercise, let someone know your plan. Share your route and anticipated time of return just in case the unexpected might happen. People will know where to find you.
Hydrate: Water is particularly important in the dry winter air. Don't forget to drink plenty of H20 and consider a warm drink when you are done to help stave off the cold. Herbal tea is a great way to rehydrate since it does not contain any caffeine.
Find a Buddy: For both safety and companionship, exercise with a buddy. It makes the time pass quickly, offers fellowship and accountability to get moving and beat the winter weather blahs.