Winter is a beautiful and exciting time—snow on the ground, seeing family and friends, parties to attend, holiday lights, yummy food and shopping galore! With all that being said, winter storms and cold temperatures can be dangerous, so you need to be prepared for any surprises Mother Nature has in store. The heart experts at AMS put together a few simple tips to help you safely navigate the cold winter months to keep yourself safe and healthy this season!
Winterize Your Home
Taking steps to safeguard your home for the upcoming cold winter months will ensure that you and your family will be safe and warm throughout the season. Many people tend to stay indoors during winter, so follow these steps to guarantee a comfortable and secure home.
- Weather-stripping – if the light from the outside is visible through the cracks in your door, it’s time to replace your weather-stripping. Not only will this improve the temperature of your home, but it will also save you money on your utility bill. You can also install a storm door to further prevent the cold air from coming in.
- Caulking windows – the caulking around your windows should be checked every year as they easily wear down. Caulk around your window cracks to keep heat from escaping.
- Check to heat – schedule an appointment to have your heating system inspected and serviced before the first bout of extreme cold hits.
- Insulation – most heat escapes through the attic and many people don’t realize that over time, insulation deteriorates. Have your insulation all throughout your home replaced to reduce unpleasant drafts.
- Prepare your pipes – pipes can freeze and burst in the winter. If you live somewhere where the temperature gets extremely cold, try opening kitchen and bathroom cabinets with exposed pipes to increase airflow, closing your garage door, and keeping the thermostat at the same temperature to keep your pipes from freezing.
- Have alternative heating sources available – if a winter storm hits and causes a power outage, a backup heating source is a necessity.
- Prepare an emergency kit – keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, extra batteries, lamps, medicine, and band-aids available.
Winterize Your Car
Chances are, you use your car every day—even in the not so ideal winter weather. Make sure you’re prepared with these simple tips:
- Check tire tread – if your tires are balding, it’s time to replace or, if necessary, switch to snow tires.
- Fill tires – low air pressure in your tires can be especially dangerous in winter weather.
- Service the heater – cleaning out the heater core tubes will allow your car to warm up quicker in the winter.
- Change oil and antifreeze – oil can become thicker in colder temperatures, so try a thinner oil to lubricate your engine in the cold. The mixture of antifreeze and water in your car should be 50/50. This will prevent freezing.
- Inspect battery – your battery works overtime in the colder weather, so before you set out, make sure your battery is in optimal condition.
- Prepare an emergency kit – it’s also a good idea to stash a small emergency kit inside your car so you’re prepared for any weather-related emergencies. We suggest a blanket, gloves, flashlight, ice scraper, extra batteries, phone charger, jumper cables, and water.
Take Care of Yourself
Did you know that more preventable injuries occur during the winter than any other season? Like your home and your car, you need to prepare yourself for winter weather! Protect your health and livelihood by following these simple tips:
- Wear appropriate clothing – wintertime is all about bundling up and keeping warm. If you’re outside on an extra cold day, make sure you have no exposed skin. Utilize layers and opt for wind-resistant coats and waterproof boots.
- Frequently wash your hands – keeping bacteria and viruses at bay is especially important during cold and flu season. Frequent handwashing can keep you healthy and free of germs.
- Avoid shoveling until necessary – high levels of strenuous activity in the cold can put many people at high risk for a heart attack.
- Salt your walkways – to avoid a slip and fall, make sure your walkways are properly salted.
- Add more omegas, mushrooms, and greens to your diet – when the temperatures drop, you might be tempted to grab comfort foods. While soups, casseroles, and sweets are more present during this season but try adding some healthy fats, like salmon, as well as immune-boosting mushrooms and vitamin-rich greens to your diet to help keep the balance during this indulgent time of year.
- Workout at home – utilize the many resources available online and keep your workout at home!
Keep yourself safe and prepared this winter season by following these smart tips from the heart experts at AMS Cardiology! Our mission is to help your heart with superb patient satisfaction. For all your heart health needs, contact us today at 215-517-1000 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians!