Colder temperatures that occur in the winter can affect your health. One major complaint that occurs more so in the winter is muscle cramps and numbness. This is because areas of the body aren’t getting enough blood circulation, and that is because blood circulation is negatively impacted in colder temperatures.
When the temperature drops, our vessels constrict, and the body aims to keep the core internal organs warm. This can leave you with colder hands and feet as a result.
The effects of cold temperatures on blood vessels can get more severe if a person already has an underlying medical circulatory condition or they partake in unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking, not exercising, and poor diet.
Individuals who are slimmer tend to complain more so about numbness, as they are more prone to losing heat quicker.
Individuals with lower metabolic function complain about muscle cramping more throughout the winter.
Blood circulation problems may be quickly resolved by simply becoming warmer either through layers of clothing or being near a heat source. But for some, it may be a chronic condition that lasts throughout the year and worsens during the winter.
In people with already diagnosed medical conditions, poor circulation could increase their risk of health complications or even mortality. For example, a person with high blood pressure may have a higher risk of heart attack as the heart now must work harder.
In a person with a blood clot, this may trigger a stroke or other complication. If you already have a medical condition surrounding your heart or circulation, then you need to take extra precautions during the winter months in order to reduce your risk of health complications.
Tips to Improve Circulation in the Winter
- Dress warmly with layers and proper attire
- Avoid being out in the cold for prolonged periods of time
- Try rubbing your hands and feet together
- Exercise daily to promote healthy circulation and prevent muscle cramps
- Sip warm beverages like tea or coffee and avoid alcohol
- Avoid over-exerting yourself throughout the day
- Go for massages or give yourself a massage
- Eat a healthy diet
- Stop smoking