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Never Jog Alone (And Other Health Tips For Very Cold Weather)

Daniel Wildi
Flickr -- Creative Commons

Emergency room doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital say there are a few practical ways NOT to be one of the weather-related patients they’ve been seeing during this cold snap.

But doctors advise those who go outside to remember:

  • Our immune system is highly affected by what we eat, so there are certain foods that are especially important during cold and flu season.  No surprise – they’re the ones on the “most healthy” list of many diets.  They include green veggies, whole grains and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn and pumpkin.

  • Get plenty of sleep to keep your immune system healthy.

  • The symptoms of hypothermia and dehydration can look alike. Even though grabbing a big glass of water may not seem appealing on a gray winter’s day, especially because you may not want to peel off multiple layers of clothing to go to the bathroom, it’s very important to drink a lot of water during the winter.

  • Be careful if you have asthma, bronchitis or heart disease. Emergency room doctors are seeing a disproportionate number of cases of chest pain brought on by extreme cold. KU Hospital spokeswoman Jill Chadwick says two frostbite patients had been brought to the hospital’s emergency room as of Thursday afternoon.

  • Don’t walk or run outside alone.  Even if you are healthy, if you fall and aren’t able to get back up, you are susceptible to rapid onset of frostbite or hypothermia.

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