Surviving the Winter Challenges
Beat the Winter Blahs!
(https://www.parents.com/parenting/better-parenting/advice/your-guide-to-staying-healthy-this-winter/(more info here)
1. Wash Up
2. Change Your Toothbrush
3. Don’t Forget Your Feet (Moisturize)
4. Go Toward the Light
5. Wet Your Whistle (Drink Water)
6. Pamper Your Skin
7. Get Your Flu Shots
8. Fill Up on Fiber
9. Slip Zinc into Your Yogurt
11.Eat More Mushrooms
13.Rinse Your Nose
How to Beat Common Winter Ailments With Chiropractic Care
Cold and Flu Season
Most people simply know the winter as cold and flu season. Even though these illnesses can occur during any time of the year, people tend to get them mostly during the winter. There are a number of reasons as to why the winter is such a common time to get the cold and flu and it actually does not have to do with it being cold outside. The good news is that chiropractic adjustments can help ward off these serious illnesses. Adjustments are designed to remove subluxations in the spine which can impact your nervous system’s ability to function. When the subluxations are cleared, the nervous system can work as it was intended to and work to fight off illnesses such as the cold and flu. Some studies have even found that chiropractic adjustments can boost the body’s production of white blood cells, meaning you have more disease fighting power in your corner during this time of year.
Joint Aches and Pains
The cold weather that occurs during the winter season can often leave people, especially those with arthritis and existing joint issues, in a great deal of pain. Cold weather can irritate the joints and make many people feel as though there is no remedy to their discomfort. The good news is, regular chiropractic care and routine treatments can help alleviate this pain, without the need for medication or pain killers. This is a no-risk solution with little side effects that can finally help keep aches and pains at bay.
Depression is a serious issue among Americans today. Many people state that the winter season makes their depression symptoms seems worse, often calling it the “winter blues.” The truth of the matter is, there is a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), that basically causes people to experience symptoms of depression in the winter. Adjustments can help the body and the nervous system function properly. This also means that the nervous system is able to send important messages to the brain. With regular chiropractic care, many people dealing with depression and depression-like symptoms find the relief that they have been looking for.
While the winter may be filled with all types of potential healthcare issues, when you have chiropractic care on your side you can keep your body aligned and healthy so you can fight off these conditions and have your healthiest winter yet.
Dr. T’s 5 Tips for a Healthy Winter
1. A Better Understanding
People do not get sick more often in the winter because there are more germs and bugs floating around, they get sick more often because they are LESS healthy and strong than they are during the summer. If you simply understand that you have to work a little harder to stay healthy during the winter, you’ll be fine. I outline how to in the next 4 steps!
We do not get sick from simply being exposed to germs; we get sick when we are too weak to fight them off. This point was illustrated by the recent Whooping Cough (pertussis) outbreak in McHenry County, where nearly 40 kids came down with whooping cough. EVERY ONE of the sick kids was fully vaccinated against whooping cough, yet still got it. Read the rest of this article and at the end ask yourself this question, “If every one of those kids had done these 5 things, would they have gotten sick?”
2. Take a Vitamin D Supplement
Since the human body is rather incredible, it has the ability to transform sunlight and turn it into energy and Vitamin D production when exposed. However, we live in Chicagoland, and the next time our skin will be exposed to the sun is about 5-6 months from now! So, we will produce little Vitamin D on our own throughout the winter, and while some foods are now fortified with it, it is simply not enough.
Vitamin D is crucial for immune support, and will go a long ways to fighting off winter time colds, flu and respiratory troubles… plus so much more! About 80% of the population is estimated to be deficient in Vitamin D, and in the winter the only way to address that is with proper supplementation. On the backside of this handout is our Vitamin D recommendations, read and follow them! You can get the highest quality Vitamin D supplements for you and your children right from our office.
3. Get plenty of exercise!
Most Americans to not get sufficient amounts of exercise and that gets worse in the winter when we barely venture outside. However, nothing has been proven to be as immune-boosting and mood-boosting as GETTING MOVING!
The best form of exercise is what we term “functional fitness” – meaning that it offers a variety of different types of exercise (cardio, strength training, endurance, etc.), keeping you constantly motivated and excited, while keeping you fit, healthy, and strong. I personally have never had a higher level of fitness than I do now, and I owe that all to an incredible form of exercise called CrossFit. Go to www.crossfit.com for more info.
4. Eat your fruits and veggies!
I know, I know… you’ve heard this one a million times and you just can’t seem to do it! Well, stop making excuses and start making it a reality. Since farmer’s markets are about over, one very easy way of getting to a good place here is by signing up for Door to Door Organics, and having it delivered to your door or becoming part of the PWC Co-op. Simply go to www.doortodoororganics.com to get more info and sign up.
What I am recommending to my patients is that they start off with simply getting a “Bitty” box from Door to Door, and then simply use whatever means possible (eat raw, smoothies, juice, slow cooker, soups, etc.) to get the entire contents of that box into your and/or your family’s stomach.
Committing to one box per week ensures that they will: 1) Have organic produce in your home each week. 2) Have the highest quality of produce (“the most bang for your buck”). 3) Save $$$ compared to buying it in the store.
Other great options and tips include shopping at Trader Joe’s, ordering a side of veggies or fruit instead of fries and potatoes when eating out, and linking up with local farmers to get their produce during the winter.
5. Keep up with your regular chiropractic adjustments, don’t wait til you’re “sick” and need a boost.
Regular chiropractic care has been shown to boost immunity, improve DNA repair, improve mood, and so much more! Not only that, but by getting all those benefits and staying healthy through preventative or wellness-based adjustments you save tons of $$$!!!
Getting sick in the United States of America is very costly! Not only do we have one of the worst healthcare systems out there, it is by far the most expensive. And that does not include the additional costs of time off work if you can’t go in or you need to stay home with your child, and all the lost productivity there.
This point was well illustrated by a recent study of 70,000 Chicagoland patients compared to patients under the care of a Medical Doctor, those under the care of a Doctor of Chiropractic “demonstrated decreases of 60.2% in-hospital admissions, 59.0% hospital days, 62.0% outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 83% pharmaceutical costs.”
Bottom line, getting sick sucks, and it is expensive! Drugs designed to treat sickness are often worthless and dangerous at the same time, so don’t rely on them. Stay healthy and proactive with these 5 simple steps this winter, and you’ll be flying into the new year!!!
More Winter Health Tips
Keep yourself safe and healthy during winter weather.
Safe Snow Shoveling
Shoveling snow can be good exercise when performed correctly. Shoveling can also be harmful when someone tries to take on more than they can handle. Before you go outside to shovel:
- Talk to your doctor if you have a history of heart trouble to make sure it is safe for you to shovel snow.
- Drink plenty of water. (You can get dehydrated in cold weather too!)
- Dress warmly, and dress in several layers so you can remove a layer if needed.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine as they can put extra strain on your heart.
- Warm up muscles in your arms and legs. Walk around for a few minutes and stretch your arms and legs. Warm muscles are less likely to get injured and work more efficiently.
- Once you are outside shoveling:
- Take it slow! Pace yourself and take breaks.
- Don’t pick up too much snow at once. Use a smaller shovel, or only fill the shovel part way if you use a large shovel.
- Push the snow as you shovel—it is easier on your back.
- Protect your back. Bend from the knees, and lift with your legs bent. Stand with your feet about hip width apart for good balance, and keep the shovel close to your body.
- Try not to twist. If you need to move snow to one side, move your feet to face the direction you are throwing the snow.
- Listen to your body! Stop if you feel tired or feel tightness in your chest.
You can take steps to decrease the chance of illness or injury.
- The elderly are especially susceptible to extremely cold temperatures. Check on elderly friends, family, or neighbors frequently.
- Dress warmly, even if you are just making a short trip to the mailbox. If you fall or a door locks behind you, you could be exposed for a longer period of time than you planned.
- Dress warmly even when you are inside—especially if you do not move a lot.
- The temperature inside your home should be set according to your own activity level, health, and medications. What is an acceptable, fuel-saving temperature for an active family may not be safe for an older person who has difficulty moving or takes certain medications.
- Remove clothing if it gets damp or wet. Wet clothing can make you more prone to hypothermia.
- Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol lowers the body’s ability to retain heat.
- Check the local Emergency Management Agency website to see if warming centers (places you can go indoors to stay warm) are open in your area.
If the power goes out, you can store food outside safely when the outside temperature is below 45°F. Place your food in a shady spot away from direct sunlight and in a container to protect it from animals.
Stay Active in the Cold
Do not let cold weather stop you from exercising. You can stay fit and motivated while boosting your energy levels with these winter exercises.
- Put on some extra layers and try some outdoor activities like snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
- Explore the outdoors and enjoy your natural surroundings.
- Ice skating is a fun winter exercise activity that can be performed indoors and outdoors, where facilities are located.
- Warm up with stretching and light activities before your exercise routine.
When your body is exposed to cold temperatures, it begins to lose heat faster than it can make heat. Exposure to cold for long periods of time can cause abnormally low body temperatures, or hypothermia. Hypothermia causes the inability to think clearly or move easily. Symptoms of hypothermia in adults can include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, drowsiness, or slurred speech. In infants, symptoms of hypothermia can include bright red, cold skin and low energy.
Elderly, infants, people who are outside for long periods of time and people who abuse alcohol or drugs are more likely to suffer from hypothermia. In addition, people with certain illnesses or people who take certain medications put them at higher risk for hypothermia. These include:
- Anyone with thyroid or hormone system disorders;
- Anyone who has had a stroke or has a medical condition that causes paralysis and reduced awareness;
- Anyone with severe arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, or other medical consitions that limit physical activity;
- Anyone with a medical condition that slows the normal flow of blood.
- Anyone with memory disorders;
- Anyone who takes medications to treat anxiety, depression, nausea or uses some over-the-counter cold remedies.
Frostbite is an injury to your body caused by freezing. The symptoms of frostbite are loss of feeling and loss of color, and it usually happens on the nose, ears, cheeks, chin fingers or toes. Frostbite can cause permanent physical damage and in extreme cases, can lead to amputation. People with circulation problems or people who are not dressed properly for cold temperatures are more likely to suffer from frostbite.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless and it can cause loss of consciousness or death. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
- Never use a gas range or oven to heat your house and do not use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern or portable camping stove inside your house.
- If you need to use a generator, make sure it is properly installed and vented.
- If you lose power and it is too cold inside your house, go to a friend or family’s home or go to a community shelter.