When it’s cold outside, exposing your body to the temperature as well as exerting yourself in the winter weather can impact your health.  Cold weather is associated with risk for heart attack, trouble breathing, and frost bite and hypothermia.  What’s going on in your body when you’re exposed to cold?

When your body is exposed to cold, it naturally works to keep your vital organs warm.  This causes your blood vessels to constrict in parts of your body in an attempt to preserve heat from leaving vital organs.  The most vital organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs are the first areas that blood vessels constrict.  The body tries to move warm blood quickly to these areas, resulting in the extremities such as fingers, toes, and feet, becoming cold faster.  Due to increased blood flow to keep vital organs warm, and the restricted blood flow to other areas in the body, there is a correlation of more heart attacks and strokes associated with cold weather.  People with heart conditions should not exert themselves in the cold by shoveling, hiking, or being active during the frosty season.

Temperatures play a big factor for people who have bronchial problems such as COPD or asthma as well.  The cold air causes the airways to constrict causing bronchospasm.  Other organs are at risk to damage during cold weather, such as the eyes and skin.  Cold causes ice crystals form in the skin and can cause the eyes to freeze.  Because our bodies are made up mostly water, damage occurs when the body starts to freeze resulting in frostbite.

Keep yourself safe this cold winter season by limiting your exposure if you have health conditions, by dressing in layers head to toe, and taking warming breaks inside if possible.


This update has been provided by Fresh Finance.