The winter months aren’t always full of cheer as the icy conditions can make it difficult on your lungs. Sometimes the weather is frigid and cold, the roads are frozen, and there’s a foot of snow on your front porch. In nasty weather such as this, the cold weather and your respiratory system don’t mix well. Whether you’re simply visiting up north for a vacation or living in these harsh conditions, it’s important to take precaution against wintery weather. Here are some tips to make sure that your lungs get the proper care they need against these harsh conditions:
- Wear a scarf or facemask
The frigid weather can be a harsh wake up for you and your respiratory system. In order to protect your lungs, cover your face with a scarf or wear a facemask as it warms the air before reaching your lungs. This tactic minimizes the harmful effects that cold air can have on your lungs.
- Breathe through your nose
In order to limit the direct contact of the cold air to your lungs, breathe through your nose rather than your mouth. Breathing through your nose gives the air extra time to heat up, so it’s not as cold when it reaches your lungs. This is a small trick that can truly make the difference when battling the winter months.
- Stay healthy
Studies suggest that cold air suppresses your immune system. The cold winter air increases your chances of catching a respiratory illness, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and the flu. Do your best to stay healthy by getting your flu shot, avoiding sick people, and learning how to treat respiratory disorders. Small preventative steps are crucial during a time when your lungs are vulnerable.
- Avoid exercising outside
Exercising in the bitter cold might actually do more harm to your body than good. The frigid air burns your lungs and increases your risk of respiratory infection. The cold causes your body to internalize its’ heat, increasing the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Even further, the cold increases your blood pressure, putting you at a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. Do your body a favor by investing in a treadmill or nabbing a discounted gym membership that often becomes available during the holidays and new year.
- Monitor the local air quality
Air pollution is a risk often overlooked during the winter. Air pollution sees an increase during the cold season due to the increase in wood fires to keep warm. This irritates your lungs and can be exponentially harmful to those with severe allergies. Stay on top of things by monitoring the local air quality and keeping medication on hand.
At the end of the day, these tips can’t guarantee that your lungs will be brand new, but it will make your winter experience much more enjoyable. You’ll be surprised at how much more manageable the cold has become, and it’ll be a warm breath of fresh air. If the winter conditions are bothering your lungs, schedule an appointment with Pulmonary Associates of Brandon today.