Does the Weather Affect Your Health?

Photo Credit :

Photo Credit :

Lizzie Tutland, Reporter

When it’s cold outside, we layer up in coats and warm attire, but when temperatures rise, we take those layers off so we can stay cool. Changing seasons change the temperature, but did you know it also affects our health? The weather has a much bigger effect on our bodies than just making us hot or cold. Cold weather can trigger a heart attack, while too much sun can cause a heat stroke.

One of the causes of headaches is constriction of blood vessels in the brain. Cold weather can cause blood vessels to quickly narrow, reducing the flow of blood. Things like extreme cold, sun glare, and stormy weather can cause brain chemical imbalances that can trigger a migraine. To test this theory, keep tabs on when your headaches occur and take notes of any weather changes so, in the future, you can avoid it.

Cold weather causes the air to have less moisture, which means less moisture to your skin. Wind will dry and irritate the skin and could damage the skin’s protective lipid barrier. To avoid dry skin in the cold months, switch to a gentle cleanser and exfoliate twice a week to remove the dry layer and rejuvenate the skin. Using a humidifier in your house will add moisture to the air which will help replenish moisture to the skin. For makeup, use a silicone based primer to seal in your moisturizer and smooth out any dry, flaking patches of dry skin.

Spending more time inside means being in close contact with others, which opens up a bigger chance of catching a cold or flu. Most viruses are contagious for a few days before you develop symptoms, so it’s easy to become exposed to sickness without knowing. A cold virus can stay on the skin for up to three hours and on surfaces for up to four before dying. Your best bet to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands well and often and keeping a bit of distance from sick people.

Dehydration is most common when the weather is warm. Our bodies are made up of more than two-thirds water. If you experience a 5% decrease in water levels, your energy levels can drop by 25 to 30%. Most people don’t treat dehydration as a serious condition, but it is. To avoid dehydration in the warmer months, drink plenty of water if you know you will be active or exposed to the sun.

When the weather is nice and warm, many people are eager to go outdoors. But being too active on muscles and joints that have been inactive during the cold weather can lead to injuries. A good tip to remember before jumping into fun outdoor activities like hiking is to start small and build up.

The weather has a big impact on our health and well-being. Hot weather has its negatives like heat strokes or joint pain, but cold weather can also cause frostbite and illnesses. To avoid the negatives of changing the weather, find the cause of your health concern and make a change to try to avoid it.