Brrrrrrrr...Cold Outside?

An Expert’s Tips for Cold Weather

Andi Kaplan, the Center for Healthy Living’s (CHL) own registered nurse, has these tips for keeping healthy in winter:

  • We tend to stay in a lot during the winter, so it’s important to get some kind of exercise even though you are inside. Try marching in place while watching TV or conducting the orchestra while listening to music.
  • Eating more is common when it gets cold, so we should be more vigilant about our diet. The CHL’s course Healthy Eating for Successful Living helps participants develop skills to take charge and manage eating habits.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables are more expensive in off-seasons, making it hard for those on  fixed incomes or tight budgets. Andi recommends her Food $ense class, which shows how to save money by planning, buying in bulk, and learning which foods pack the most nutrition for the lowest cost.
  • We don’t feel the same thirst as we do in the summer. So be sure to drink enough liquids to stay hydrated.
  • When going outdoors, remember to dress warmly. Wear layered, loose-fitting clothing and mittens. When possible, wear a hat to protect against heat loss since close to half of all body heat is lost through the head.

Our Resource Center advises that the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA), has a Home Energy Assistance Program for seniors and disabled individuals. To reach them call 800.571.CEDA.

Any healthy steps you take this winter are good for you. It might take a little more effort but it’s worth it!

Andrea Kaplan has been at CJE for more than 13 years. She has an R.N., B.S.N. from the UIC College of Nursing.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013-2014 issue of LIFE, CJE SeniorLife's quarterly magazine.