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Top Health Impacts Of Weather Change & Tips To Overcome Them

October 11, 2016

You’ve either said it or heard someone say, “There’s a storm a brewing, I can feel it in my bones.” But can weather really affect your health and well being?

Many people tend to report an increase in pain when there are drastic weather changes. Though there is not full agreement among researchers, there appears to be a relationship between cold weather and storms and an increase in inflammatory pain. The leading theory suggests changes in air pressure are to blame. Barometric pressure is the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us. Sunny and dry days tend to have a high barometric pressure; when a weather front approaches, the barometric pressure tends to drop. The weather can have as long reaching effects. Increased pain can lead to sleep disturbances; lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and an overall sense of lethargy. Increased pain in the joints can make sitting, standing and walking more painful for some people.

TOP 5 HEALTH IMPACTS OF WEATHER CHANGE:
  1. Achy joints: One reason joint pain is linked with cold weather is that people are less motivated to exercise when it is cold and damp. Too cold out? Be proactive by bringing your workout indoors. To improve joint function, choose low  impact, aerobic exercises. Low impact activities like walking, yoga or tai chi can boost your range of motion. Weight lifting can also help you to strengthen joint supporting muscles. Just remember to respect your personal limits and don’t overdo it!
  2. Migraine Headaches: Weather changes can trigger migraines in people that are prone to them. According to the mayoclinic.com you can try to avoid migraine triggers (if possible) by monitoring weather changes. They suggest staying indoors during very cold or windy days.
  3. Heart Risk: With cold weather quickly approaching, people who suffer from heart disease can have narrowed coronary arteries. Add to those factors the additional exertion from a loathsome winter chore (snow shoveling), this can quickly turn into an unexpected heart attack. On the flip side, extreme heat also presents a problem, in addition to having heart disease makes it harder to regulate the body’s core temperature. Although people with risk factors are more vulnerable, no one is immune to the dangers of extreme temperatures.
  4. Allergies: There are two types of rhinitis (irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose) non-allergic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis. Generally speaking, they both tend to occur at the same time of year and present similar symptoms. Though the symptoms seem the same, the treatment is not. People with non-allergic rhinitis are not going to respond to antihistamines, it’s best to get diagnosed by your doctor before taking unnecessary medications.
  5. Asthma – Cold weather can exacerbate asthma symptoms. Rapidly breathing cold air can cause the airway to react by swelling because the air exchange doesn’t have a chance to warm-up. Thunderstorms carry pollen at ground level which can cause an asthma attack. Try to avoid being outdoors during extremely windy days.
3 TIPS TO OVERCOME HEALTH IMPACTS OF WEATHER CHANGE:
  1. Track it: Keep a diary of your symptoms to make cause and effect connections.
  2. Eat healthy foods rich in: Omega3 fatty acids can aid in diminishing inflammation, Vitamin K which has pain curbing properties, Vitamin C can reduce cartilage loss.
  3. Supplement: While the sun is hibernating, make sure you supplement your Vitamin D, which aids in keeping your bones strong and preventing joint pain. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements as they could interact    with any prescription and over the counter drugs.

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