Posts Tagged ‘cold’

Ten Tips for Winter Wellness

Cold WeatherMediLodge of Howell is happy to share these ten tips for winter wellness.

1. Go for a walk even when the weather is really cold – your body has to work overtime to get warm and you may burn up to 50% more calories than you would on the same walk in summer! But remember, go a little slower until you get warm and keep up the hydration.

2. If you find it hard to get motivated to exercise in winter… just think of spring and how much harder it is to get back into shape rather than maintain your fitness throughout the winter.

3. Be aware of tendonitis and stress fracture if you don’t exercise in winter and expect to pick up where you left off after a whole winter with no exercise.

4. Instead of picking up a cup of hot chocolate to keep yourself warm, try a herbal beverage.

5. Gain an interest in indoor sports as opposed to cycling and jogging outdoors. Don’t forget that swimming at an indoor pool is an option for a great cardio workout!

6. The cold air and indoor heaters can dry out your skin. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water each day and use moisturizers throughout winter.

7. Buy some indoor plants to soften up the dry atmosphere caused through heating. Indoor plants give off moisture and oxygen and the col­ors will brighten up a dull day outside.

8. Caught a cold or flu? If the infec­tion is above the neck (nose, throat) you could be OK to complete a low intensity workout. However, if you have symptoms that are worse than an average cold (chest congestion, muscle aches), exercise will only make you worse and delay your recovery. Rest is the best medicine.

9. Wear the right clothes when exercising in winter. Polypropylene is the perfect fabric to wear underneath a tracksuit, which will provide great insulation but minimize moisture loss. Gore-Tex is a fabric used widely for providing protection from the rain and wind.

10. Feel like sitting on the couch with a video and snacking on a cold, wet day? Reach for a protein bar or packet of soy nuts instead of high energy, high fat snacks.

MediLodge of Howell

MediLodge of Howell

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MediLodge of Howell

MediLodge of Howell

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Cold vs. Flu: Beating Them Both With MediLodge Wellness

Upper respiratory infections are very common, especially in the colder months and when seasons are changing.  The cold and the flu (influenza) are caused by many different types of viruses.  The common cold usually affects your nose, throat and lungs.  Influenza brings fever,aches and pains in addition to the typical cold symptoms.  Influenza is not the same as the “stomach flu” which are viruses that make you experience nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.cold v flu

Head Cold Symptoms

Cold symptoms start gradually.  You may feel slight chills, occasional sneezing, watery eyes or scratchy throat.   It may take at least two to three days before you realize you actually have a cold.

Treating A Head Cold

Drink plenty of water or broth, but avoid soda, Gatorade or fruit juices.  The fluids high in sugar may give you diarrhea.  Use steam from the shower or a cool room vaporizer to sooth and help clear your stuffy nose.  Lotion or Vaseline can be used on the outside of the nose.  Saline nasal spray can relieve soreness inside the nose.  If you use oxygen, only use a water-soluble gel (KY) both inside and outside the nose.

Check with your doctor before using any over the counter antihistamines or cold/cough remedies as these medications will increase your heart rate for several days after using them.

If you have a cough and sore throat, gargle with salt water (¼ teaspoon salt to ½ cup water), use cough lozenges and cough medication as directed.  Too much cough medication may cause increased heart rate, dizziness and nausea.

Most colds will resolve in seven to ten days after symptoms first occur.  If symptoms last longer, you develop a temperature greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit, are coughing up yellow-green sputum, have a severe sore throat, earache or shortness of breath and chest pain, see your physician.

Signs Of Influenza (Flu)

Flu causing viruses attack your nose, throat and lungs.  The symptoms come on very suddenly, such as fatigue and coughing.  Other symptoms are fever, headache, tiredness, sore throat, runny nose and muscle aches.  The acute symptoms last for a week, but the after effects can linger for over two weeks.  You  are unable to perform any normal daily activities with the flu because you feel completely worn out.

Treating The Flu

When flu symptoms first start, stay at home and call your doctor’s office.  The doctor may be able to prescribe medication that will help resolve the symptoms faster.  It is fine to take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) for fever reduction and aches and pains, but remember not to give children aspirin as it can cause Reye’s Syndrome.

Drink at least six to eight full glasses of water daily, rest in bed and eat small frequent meals.  If your fever is over 101 Fahrenheit, you are dizzy, light-headed or short of breath, call the doctor immediately.handwashing

Influenza is spread through droplets from your lungs.  It can spread when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes, laughs or even talks.  If you are in a weakened state it can easily cause bronchitis or pneumonia with very serious consequences.

Prevention:  Colds and Flu

Proper hand washing with soap and water by scrubbing with a generous lather for 15 to 30 seconds, rinsing with the fingers held down, drying with clean paper towel and turning the tap off and opening the door with the towel are the first steps to preventing the spread of germs of any kind.  Covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with a tissue, handkerchief or even the crook of your arm are other steps you can take to stop the spread of germs.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as well.

It is okay to use alcohol-based cleanser that is at least 60% alcohol ( most are 68%) when soap and water are not available.  Avoid using the alcohol-based hand cleanser more than three times in a row before washing with soap and water.  Limit your exposure to crowds and use judgment on whether or not to shake hands with someone.

At the end of September get a flu vaccination as soon as it is available.  Flu vaccines are usually given from September through January, but check with your physician for exact details.  If you have chronic health conditions or are over 65 years of age, consult your physician about the pneumonia vaccine as well.

Remember, the cold and flu can be very dangerous.  Prevention and prompt attention if you become ill will keep you and those around you safe and healthy.

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