How Weather Impacts Your Health

Most likely you’re already aware of how weather changes can make you feel. Some people feel more invigorated when a thunderstorm hits, others feel anxious, and some may even suffer from an asthma attack.

A sunny day can be energizing and rain can make us feel a bit gloomy. While we know the weather can affect our mood, it can trigger certain health conditions in those who are susceptible.

Cold weather

Cold temperatures increase the risk of a heart attack, even when the thermometer drops just a few degrees. In the cold, blood vessels constrict causing the blood to thicken which means it is more likely to clot, increasing heart attack risk.

People who are outdoors in cold weather should avoid sudden exertion such as lifting a heavy shovel full of snow; just walking through snow drifts or heavy snow can strain a person’s heart, especially if that person is out of shape. Being prepared for chilly conditions by dressing properly is important, but so is staying in shape all year long.

Weather changes of any kind can also trigger migraines, but a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the chances of an attack. Avoid eating processed foods as well as consuming caffeine or alcoholic beverages. Don’t skip meals, get plenty of rest, and be sure to stay hydrated.

Hot weather

Heart attacks are also more likely to occur during heat waves. In hot weather the body loses water through sweat; because there is less water in the blood, it’s more concentrated and more likely to clot.

The heat can also pose a danger to those who suffer from lung diseases like chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Hot weather requires us to breathe harder because it takes more energy to keep the body cool which can worsen symptoms such as shortness of breath and coughing.

Be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and eat lots of raw foods when the weather is hot. Raw fruits and veggies contain lots of powerful antioxidants to help keep your energy levels up and your immune system going strong.

Wet or stormy weather

When the weather outside is frightful, those who suffer from arthritis don’t need to look out the window to know what’s going on. Damp weather tends to increase symptoms of arthritis, including painful, achy joints.

It is thought that lower pressures causes inflamed joints to swell more, which stimulates nerve fibers, although this hasn’t been scientifically proven. Some health experts believe the increased pain during bad weather is due to being less active, which causes the joints to stiffen. Not getting enough vitamin D from the sunshine can also cause joints to ache.

winter walkThunderstorms are known to induce asthma attacks – even people who have never suffered from them before, although those who are affected tend to be more prone to allergies. This is due to the changes in air temperature during the storm that causes pollen to be lifted off the ground. The humidity then breaks the pollen grains into tiny allergenic fragments.

Keep in mind that it’s not usually the weather alone that causes these health issues – lifestyle plays a huge factor. Instead of turning to medications, consider a natural prescription without side effects: exercise regularly, make healthy food choices, get plenty of rest and participate in activities that relieve stress.

No matter what the weather has in store, you’ll be prepared!

-The Alternative Daily

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