Monday 26 September 2016

Guard yourself from the cold

Published 15/12/2015 | 02:30

Derval O'Rourke, former Olympic athlete, pictured with her labradoodle, Berlino, to unveil the Irish Guide Dogs #GoWalkies campaign which is urging people to walk their dogs and post. You can donate €4 by text Woof to 50300 or at www.guidedogs.ie/donate. Photo: Clare Keogh.
Derval O'Rourke, former Olympic athlete, pictured with her labradoodle, Berlino, to unveil the Irish Guide Dogs #GoWalkies campaign which is urging people to walk their dogs and post. You can donate €4 by text Woof to 50300 or at www.guidedogs.ie/donate. Photo: Clare Keogh.

Some illnesses are triggered or made worse by the cold weather, but a few simple tips can ease discomfort:

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* Sore throats - gargle with warm salty water. It won't heal the infection, but it has anti-inflammatory properties and can also have a soothing effect. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of part-cooled boiled water

* Asthma - stay indoors on very cold, windy days. If you do go out, wear a scarf over your nose and mouth. Be extra vigilant about taking your regular medications, and keep rescue inhalers close by and in a warm place

* Painful joints - many people get a little depressed during the winter months, and this can make them perceive pain more acutely. Everything feels worse, including medical conditions. Daily exercise can boost a person's mental and physical state. Swimming is ideal as it's easy on the joints

* Heart attacks - stay warm in your home. Keep the main rooms you use at 21°C (70°F) and use a hot water bottle or electric blanket to keep warm in bed. Wrap up warm when you go out and wear a hat, scarf and gloves

* Cold hands - don't smoke or drink caffeine (they can both worsen symptoms) and always wear warm gloves, socks and shoes when going out in cold weather

* Dry skin - have warm, rather than hot, showers.

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