xConnectNW105 - Stay Healthy This Winter Season

This week we spoke with Dr. Garcia of WSU's Health & Wellness Services about staying healthy & safe this winter season.

Producer: Kanale Rhoden
Host: Greg Mills

Online Version By: Kanale Rhoden, Director xConnectNW
Pullman, WA

Excerpts from this week's xConnectNW:

Q: We know winter time can be tough for some people, especially older people, but what are some tips you have to stay happy not only physically but mentally. 

A: The number one thing you can do is stay active. Maintain an exercise routine, try to get some sunshine when it is available and consider using a full spectrum lamp as a reading light to fight off the winter time blues.

Q: Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards. How do we stay safe?

A: Pay attention to the weather conditions meaning if the temperature is below freezing take extra precautions when going outside. Fortunately we don’t usually have frigid weather here in the Pullman area so frost bite is not usually a concern but if it is really cold be sure to cover exposed skin when outdoors. If traveling by motor vehicle it is wise to have emergency provisions in your car in the event you become stranded. Simple things like a blanket or sleeping bag, water and a flashlight.

Q: Driving conditions get really scary in the winter and if something were to happen to you while driving and you got stuck in an isolated area how do you survive?

A: As mentioned earlier the smart thing to do is stay with your vehicle, prior to your trip notify someone where you are going and when you expect to arrive.  Let them know what route you intend to take. Have an emergency kit in your car and something to consider is a small shovel and something to start a fire with.

Q: Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. What steps should we take to keep warm?

A: Several factors come into play when  the weather gets cold. One is the wind, wind chill can quickly bring your body temperature down and so it is a good idea to have a winter coat that is also wind proof.  Most of our body heat will escape through our head if it is not covered so a hat is important and of course gloves. Also staying well hydrated helps our body circulate blood which keeps our body warm and functioning.

For more information on WSU's Health & Wellness Services visit them online

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