It’s that time of year again. Here in Cedar City we have already had two pretty good snow falls, and it’s only the beginning of December. As the winter progresses, we will undoubtedly see more snow, ice, and cold temperatures. As the snow falls and roads and sidewalks become slick, there are some important things to keep in mind, and to keep you safe and healthy until the snow melts and the winter thaws.
1. Dress for the weather. Our region of Southern Utah is unique. Here in Cedar City we have snow and a ski resort nearby. About 30 minutes south is a desert. When you’re in Cedar and there is snow, make sure to wear sturdy shoes with good tread, not sandals. Poor traction will lead you to do a wintersault, and though I recommend putting ice on your injuries, I don’t recommend injuring yourself on the ice. Also, make sure to wear warm clothes. As we learn from Bill Nye the Science Guy, simply being cold won’t actually give you a cold or make you sick. However, when you are cold, your body is rerouting its resources to help you stay warm, which can weaken your immune system. So bundle up and don’t fall.
2. Driving in the snow. Even though someone has a big 4×4 truck, those tires slide on ice and compact snow just as easily as the tires on a little Toyota Corolla. Although it’s fun to do donuts in an empty parking lot at night in the fresh snow, it’s not as much fun to accidentally do donuts on the road. While traveling back from Seattle this past weekend, we passed an SUV that was flipped over on the side of the road. The driver said that he was just driving along, then started to slide, spin, then flipped over. Thankfully everyone was ok, but still a little shaken up. My first real snow driving experience was in Eastern Washington when I went to college. It snows a lot there, and a friend of mine gave me the best winter driving advice; “Don’t ever feel comfortable while driving in the snow”. Always be on your guard because even though you may be the best driver in the world, the guy next you may not be, and all it takes is a small patch of black ice to ruin your day.
3. Healthy eating. Do you ever wonder why it seems like you or your kids have almost constant colds, runny noses, even flu like symptoms between October and March? We know it’s not only the cold weather weakening our immune system. But think about what we eat during those months; Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pie and sweets, Christmas candy and treats, New Year’s Eve treats and drinks, Valentine’s candy and chocolates, Easter candy and chocolate bunnies. We eat a crazy amount of sugar during these months, and tend to be less active because of the cold weather. Researchers have found that on your cells there are little docking stations for different nutrients. Vitamin C is very important to our health and not getting sick. However, the docking station for Vit C also fits sugar, and the cells like sugar a lot more than Vitamin C, and once that sugar molecule is stuck there, the Vitamin C can’t dock. So sugar actually makes you more likely to get colds and stay sick longer. Though it used to be more difficult to get fresh fruits and veggies in the winter time, it’s pretty easy now-a-days, just head to your local grocery store, or better yet, Farmer’s market. In Cedar City, there is a Year Round Farmer’s Market at the IFA every Saturday morning, there may be one in your town as well.
4. Positive attitude. Have you ever noticed that up until Christmas winter is fun, and snow is great, and everything is magical? Then once New Year’s is done, the rest of the winter is gray, listless, and eternal? When we lived in Iowa it snowed in November, and stayed until March. It was white when it fell from the sky, then turned gray after a couple of days/weeks, and turned to ice and slush. In Seattle, winter is overcast, cold and wet. It’s depressing. There is a condition called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, that is a type of depression that usually starts in the Fall, and ends in the Spring and is related to lower light levels in the Winter. Here in Cedar City it’s cold and snowy, but it is more often sunny, melting off the snow, so fresh snow is white and beautiful. If you do feel like you are having the ‘winter blues’ some light therapy may be beneficial for you. Winter and the Holiday Season is also a time of joy for some, and sadness for others. Though many of us have friends and family nearby, some people are alone, which may cause more depression problems. If you find yourself alone this season, serving others can help you. By serving others we think less of ourselves and our own problems, and tend to find more joy in what we have, instead of wishing for things we don’t have.
5. Chiropractic adjustments. One thing that can help with your Winter problems is Chiropractic. If you fall or have a car accident, you should head to a chiropractor as soon as you can. Within two weeks of an injury your body starts to build up scar tissue that is permanent. Chiropractic can help your body to heal correctly and help prevent longer lasting problems. Did you know that Chiropractic can also help with your immune system? The nervous system controls all other parts of your body, including the immune system. If your nerves aren’t working as well as they should, you’ll be more likely to get ill. In the early 1900’s there was a major Flu epidemic and over 675,000 American’s died. However, in the state of Iowa, studies showed that out of 93,590 patients treated by medicine of the time, 6,116 died, or 1 of every 15, where as of the 4,735 patients treated with chiropractic care, only 6 died, or 1 of every 789. National statistics of the time show similar trends. Now, I am not saying that Chiropractic can cure every illness, I am saying that Chiropractic adjustments help the body function as best it can, which gives your body the ability to fight off illness, or not get ill in the first place. We have a family in our practice who has been under Chiropractic care for many years. This last year they came for check-ups more often than in years past, and I asked the mom if she had noticed a difference over the past year. Her response surprised even me when she said that illness and complaining has been way down in the family. We hadn’t even been treating any illness, but they were healthier, had fewer sick days, and less complaining.
Throughout the year we are susceptible to illness, injury, depression, stress, and a whole host of other problems, but it seems like Winter is a prime time for injuries and illness. But one thing you can do for yourself this Winter is seek Chiropractic care for yourself and your family. With everything happening at this time of the year, take some time out for yourself, let us take care of you, so you can continue to take care of your loved ones.