During the winter months, ice, snow, and colder temperatures can make day-to-day activities difficult for anyone. These harsh elements can make trekking outdoors a hazard, traveling a challenge, and can negatively impact your overall mood.
At Origin Active Lifestyle Communities, our number one priority is safety. That is why we want to share five winter safety tips to help ensure you have a safe and healthy winter season.
Winter Safety Tip #1: Driveway and Vehicle Maintenance
Traveling during the winter can be especially harsh on your vehicle. Before winter begins, it is suggested that you check to make sure your vehicle is well maintained and properly equipped. Snow tires, battery jumpers, sand (or kitty litter), an ice scraper, and a shovel are all great items to have on/in your vehicle for safe traveling during the winter months.
Many people believe it is important to warm up the vehicle for 20-30 minutes before use. However, according to sources like Popular Mechanics, this could be harmful to your vehicle. Warming up your vehicle for a few minutes is recommended for your comfort, but it is not necessary to warm up for the sake of your engine.
Clearing your driveway or walkways of ice and snow is also a safety tip we recommend. It can help to prevent slips and falls and will allow you to exit your driveway safer and quicker.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving during the winter months, we encourage you to read our blog regarding alternative senior transportation options!
Winter Safety Tip #2: Adjusting Your Diet
During the winter months, many tend to stay indoors and avoid travel. While staying indoors may be a necessity at times, it can cause a deficiency of certain essential vitamins, such as vitamin D. Vitamin D is commonly absorbed from the sun, making a deficiency during winter months much more commonplace.
During these months, we encourage you to include foods to your diet that are full of vitamins. Adding foods like garlic, turmeric, ginger, green tea, blueberries, and spinach to your diet can help boost your immune system and ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients.
Winter Safety Tip #3: Prepare Your Home
Preparing your home for the winter months is one of the most important tips we can provide. While many think that letting the sun in through windows will help maintain warmth in the home, it does the opposite. Opening your curtains or blinds can prevent your home from warming up, as the windows will draw the heat away from the room in an attempt to warm the window instead.
Another helpful winter tip for your home would be to close the vents inside the room(s) you’re not using and then also close the door to that room. This will ensure the other rooms in your house stay nice and warm. For extra drafty homes, placing a rolled towel near the base of the door will prevent additional cold air from going through your home.
Winter Safety Tip #4: Dress Warm and Be Safe
If you plan on going out, always check the weather first and dress in layers. A hat, scarf, gloves, insulated jacket, heavy socks, and non-skid shoes (to prevent slipping!) will help keep you warm and make time spent outdoors more enjoyable. The cold temperatures make your heart work harder to keep your body warm, so bundle up even for quick trips outside!
Winter Tip #5: An Active Lifestyle Indoors
Staying physically active is important all year - especially during the winter season. Strength training indoors can help improve blood flow and boost your immune system to help you fight off winter ailments, like the common cold or the flu. Activities such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, or riding a stationary bike are fantastic ways to maintain an active lifestyle during these months!
Winter in Canada is unavoidable! Maintaining your health, your home, and your safety are key elements to ensure you have an enjoyable winter season. If you are looking for additional information regarding safety or healthy aging, check out our Origin blog for more articles!