Winter is coming, and with it drops in temperature. In most places, it’s already getting cooler. The changes in weather during winter can affect our health. It’s important to know these effects so we can better mitigate them. Below are some ways winter weather affects our health.

• Our Immune System: During the winter we spend more time inside. This can increase the risk of catching disease.

• Our Heart: Cold weather narrows our blood vessels. This causes our hearts to have to work harder and raises the risk of heart attacks.

• Our Skin: The dry air in winter leaves our skin cracked and parched. This can lead to itchiness and flaky skin.

• Our Body Temperature: The cooler air puts us at risk for hypothermia. This is especially true in older adults.

• Our Heads: The narrowing of blood vessels in response to cold can cause headaches. It also weakens our hair.

• Our Vitamin D Levels: Being inside more often in response to cold can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency affects the whole body. It can lead to muscle weakness, greater pain sensitivity, and sleepiness.

Winter weather can affect our health in a myriad of ways. Some of the best ways to counter most of these are to bundle up when going outside, moisturizing your skin, and keep tabs on vitamin D levels. Winter weather doesn’t have to get you down if you take proper care.

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