The winter season can bring beautiful, snowy days and comfy nights by the fire. But, all that snow and ice can cause interruptions to everyday activities like exercise and grocery shopping. Fortunately, a plan and some general winter safety rules can help you plan ahead to ensure you maintain healthy habits. Below, you can find useful winter safety tips to help you enjoy the winter months in safety and comfort.
Common Winter Weather Conditions
Winter can bring challenging weather conditions to many areas and homes. These are some common winter season conditions that may produce an unsafe environment for outdoor activities or driving:
- Freezing temperatures
- Extreme wind chill
- Freezing rain
- Ice storm1
How To Stay Safe In Winter
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to prepare ahead of time for the winter storm season. Advanced planning can help ensure you have the proper equipment and plan in place to avoid weather setbacks. Check out a few of these winter safety rules.
Check The Weather Conditions In Advance
One of the easiest winter safety rules to follow is to pay attention to weather reports. Staying up-to-date on temperatures and winter storm warnings can help you prepare ahead of time.
Listen for phrases such as “winter storm warning” or “blizzard warning” from the National Weather Service. These indicate a storm could create unsafe driving conditions and cold temperatures.2
In Case Of Heavy Snow
The accumulation of snow can keep you from easily accessing things outside and even make it difficult to drive. The most basic method for removing snow around the house is with a snow shovel. This is a practical choice if you don’t own a snow plow or snow blower. However, take precaution by dressing in layers, avoiding ice, and pacing yourself to avoid overexertion.3
The Right Warm Clothing And Gear For Winter Storm Conditions
If you do find yourself outside, it’s important that you’re prepared by wearing the proper winter clothing. Try to dress with dryness in mind, not just warmth, in cold weather conditions.
Water from sweat can move heat away from your body, increasing the risk your body temperature might drop. Proper base layers of clothing, like glove liners, socks, and hats, may help reduce this risk. Also, waterproof boots or warm boots will keep your feet dry and warm.4
Health Concerns With Bad Weather Conditions
The body loses heat more rapidly in cold temperatures. This loss of body heat may increase the risk of certain health problems, such as frostbite and hypothermia.5
Self-Monitoring When Doing Outdoor Activities
Improper attire and exposure to cold weather are a potentially dangerous combination. Warm outdoor clothing and gear may help, but they’re not 100% effective against cold weather conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek warm indoor temperatures and medical attention:
- Bright red, cold skin
- Fumbling hands and loss of feeling in fingers
Indoor Exercise Alternatives
On those really cold and snowy days, you may find yourself unable to go outside. But, being inside doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch all day. It’s recommended that all adults do some sort of physical activity every day to reduce the risk of health problems. Fortunately, there are plenty of exercises and activities to do indoors that can help you stay fit.7
And, it’s important to stay active in the winter. Regular fitness can boost your mood, reduce stress and improve sleep. Plus, research shows that it’s tough to lose weight gained during winter even when you start exercising again in the warmer months.8
Try a few of these exercises to help you stay active on cold days.
Push ups are a classic workout that you can do at home with no equipment. Do a few sets to get your fitness in for the day even as the snow piles up outside.
- To start, get into a push-up position with your hands placed at a shoulder-width distance. Keep you back straight to form a straight line from your feet to your head.
- Slowly lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground. Push back up into the starting position. Repeat for 8-10 reps.9
This is another easy workout that you can do after your push-ups. It’s a great full-body exercise that can strengthen muscles in your entire core.
- Get into a plank position on a mat or carpeted area by resting your forearms on the ground. Your elbows should be right under your shoulders.
- Use your toes to prop up. Your back should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
- Engage your core to brace yourself. Hold this position for as long as you can. Repeat for 2-3 sets.10
Eat Well To Stay Healthy In Winter
The wood stove isn’t the only thing keeping your body warm during the cold months of winter. A well-balanced diet also helps to heat your body. Additionally, certain foods and drinks like caffeine can actually cause your body to lose heat.11
During the winter, your body undergoes changes that can affect your metabolism, energy and food cravings. This makes it extra important to make the right choices in the kitchen. For example, foods rich in vitamin D like mushrooms, eggs and salmon can boost your mood and decrease the impulse to eat based on mood.12
Additionally, what you eat can also improve your immune system and help the body defend against winter illnesses. Getting nutrients like vitamin C, B and D from your food can help you fight off those common winter colds.13
Easy Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
Few things satisfy on a cold day like hot, chicken noodle soup. But, a soup made from bone broth does more than taste good. Soup made from chicken bones can even boost your immune system and replace electrolytes.14
Rich, Nutritious Chicken Noodle Soup
Try out this quick and satisfying soup to fortify your body with some essential nutrients.
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 quarts chicken stock or bone broth
- ½ bag of egg noodles
- Place a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and the onion, carrots and celery. Cook for 5-7 minutes until soft and semi-translucent.
- In a separate pot, add the chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the chicken breasts. Cook for 20 minutes or until firm. Remove and set aside.
- Add the garlic to the sauteed veggies and cook for another minute. Pour the warm chicken broth into the large pot with the veggies. Bring to a simmer.
- Cover slightly and let cook for 15-20 minutes on low. Add the pasta into the liquid. Cook per package instructions until the pasta is al dente.
- While the pasta cooks, pull the chicken breast apart with a knife or fork.
- When the pasta is finished, add the pulled chicken into the pot and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and finish with parsley. Serve hot or reserve for later.
Winter Safety Tips: Protect Yourself With Preparation
Winter weather can cause disruptions to those everyday activities that help keep you healthy. But, with some proper planning, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle even when it’s snowing outside.
Some of the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the winter center around diet and exercise. The winter safety tips above can help you keep up a steady fitness routine and proper eating habits. Try a few of the exercises and recipes the next time you find yourself indoors on a snowy day. They’ll most likely help you enjoy those cold days at home in comfort and safety.
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