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Winter Considerations

The seasonal shift in climate, whether welcomed or not, brings distinct shifts in our behavior including wardrobe changes, decorating, playing holiday tunes and increased time in the kitchen baking. Here are some tips for remaining healthy for the winter and the holidays:

Stay Hydrated: Without the heat of summer to drive a sensation of thirst, it is sometimes easier to become dehydrated throughout the winter. The opportunity for holiday treats are also a contributor to dehydration as these foods often have high levels of salt or sugar, which carry water out of our bodies through digestion. Your minimum daily fluid intake should be half of your body weight in ounces of water.

Winterwear: Warm clothes help protect us from the elements. I didn’t believe it when I was first told how important a scarf is, but the truth is: the extra layer of protection around your neck helps you feel warmer and conserves your body heat. Keeping your neck warm may also prevent you from getting cold and tightening those shoulder muscles! For those with shoulder pain, that big, cozy jacket is a blessing and a curse. The best way to put the jacket on safely is to put your injured arm in its sleeve first and use the uninjured arm’s better mobility to maneuver into the last sleeve. Reverse the order to take off the jacket.

Travel: Planning ahead helps us to not feel rushed or overbooked. When we stretch past our limits, we tend to compromise our health and safety. Here are some examples of how rushing can cause injury: running to catch a flight when we’re not warmed up or not conditioned to do so can injure joints and strain muscles; hurrying about leaves less time to observe hazards such as ice or uneven surfaces; staying up late for last minute packing, lowers our bodies ability to heal and potentially fight off infections. In general planning ahead and honoring our limits can help keep us healthy and safe.

Deck the halls (safely): There are so many ways we adorn our homes with holiday spirit! Whether reaching high or low, remember to protect yourself with good body mechanics. Keep your spine, from your neck to your pelvis, in a stable and neutral position. Always carry objects close to yourself. Lift with your legs. And don’t be ashamed to ask for help if you need it.

Lastly, studies have shown that there is a strong correlation between gratitude and happiness. Practicing such and following the above tips can help your holiday season be even more fulfilling. Good luck and from our family to yours, we at Spirit Winds wish you a safe and happy holiday season!

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