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Archive for the ‘Seasonal’ Category

Preventing Colds This Winter

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Winter is almost upon us and meteorologists are already saying we may be in for some nasty, cold weather.  Be prepared ahead of time and take these precautions to keep yourself as healthy as possible this winter:

  • Dress warmly (even when you feel like you can walk outside without a jacket - don’t)
  • Eat warm foods such as soups and chilis, and drink warm beverages such as hot water with lemon or green tea
  • Maintain a diet rich in nutrition
  • Before you do any winter chores such as shoveling, make sure you do a small warmup
  • Get lots of sleep
  • Wash your hands often

Staying Safe in the Summer Heat

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

This summer has been an exceptionally hot one in many provinces and states across North America. As older adults, we must be mindful of a few simple steps we can take to ensure our health and safety on the hottest days.

Drink lots of water.Although any fluid is better than none, try to focus on water instead of too many sugar-filled fruit juices or pops.

Drinks to avoid. Stay away from alcoholic drinks and heavily caffeinated beverages.

Plan your outfit according to the weather. On super hot days, dress in light-weight clothes that are also light in color, so that you don’t attract extra sunlight to your body.

Protect your eyes and skin. Wear sunglasses, hats, and sun block of at least 30 SPF.

Get a ride. If you don’t drive but you want to get out of the house for a little while, ask a friend for a ride or call a cab. Don’t wait for public transportation outside in the blistering heat.

Take a cool bath or shower. Refresh your body and lower your temperature on extremely hot days.

Be weary of heat stroke. Know, recognize and take action if you notice signs of heat stroke. Such signs include high body temperature, headaches, flushed face, nausea, fast heartbeat, dizziness and confusion.

Before we know it, there’ll be snow on the ground again. Stay safe during this last month of summer!

Shovel Safely this Winter

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Every winter season, thousands of property owners around North America are injured while snow shoveling. For older adults and seniors, snow shoveling has become a particularly worrisome chore, since we are far more susceptible to injury and illness in our old age.

The two big pain-signs to watch for while you’re shoveling this winter are:

  • Back pain
  • Chest pain

The Condition of Our Health

For those of us who eat healthy, exercise on a regular basis and practice good posture daily, the risk of injury during snow shoveling is not as great as for those older adults who live a sedentary lifestyle with poor diets and bad posture. But – none of us are in the clear entirely! We need to be careful and take the necessary precautions to prevent injury.

A Few Snow Shoveling Recommendations

  1. Don’t wait for the snow to pile up before you decide to make your way outside. Shovel small amounts at a time.
  2. Purchase a light shovel made for pushing (not lifting). Plastic shovels are the lightest.
  3. Don’t lift the snow, but rather push it. Put your body weight into the pushing action to avoid using too much of any other muscle group.
  4. If you must lift the snow, be sure to lift small amounts and bend low with your knees – not your back. Avoid lifting over very large snow banks.
  5. Even though it may sound silly, stretch before you shovel or do a light warm-up on the treadmill downstairs. Snow shoveling is a physical activity just like any other and it’s best if your body is prepared for it.
  6. Take breaks. If you feel overexerted, stop for a few minutes and go back out when you’re ready.

Most importantly: if you experience severe chest pains while you’re shoveling, contact a medical doctor immediately. If back pain persists a day or two after shoveling, see your local practitioner.

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