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Cold weather tips

Published November 26. 2019 11:34AM

As we age, cold weather can be extremely dangerous. Plummeting temperatures can lead to icy sidewalks, hypothermia and other serious injuries.

That’s why it’s important for seniors to prepare properly and make sure your home and car are ready for winter’s deceptive killers.

Here are ways to take care of yourself.

• Healthy foods: Produce is out of season and costly. Check out the food market’s frozen veggies department. Opt for brands with less sodium, and select fruits and vegetables such as pomegranates, cranberries, citrus fruits, grapes and root vegetables. Support the immune system with vitamin C and eat foods rich in zinc, such as fish, poultry and eggs.

• Stay fit: If your doctor permits and you are able, get outside and enjoy your favorite activities. But dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. Make sure you remember to apply sunscreen to your exposed skin and to wear insulated socks and proper shoes.

• Soak up the sun: The benefits of vitamin D play a big part in battling the blues. Fresh air and natural light are key to fighting depression. If it’s freezing, open the blinds and sit by the window. Sunshine increases the body’s energy level and outlook.

• Car safety: Maintain your vehicle by testing the battery voltage, the lights and checking the coolant levels. Check the tire pressure, and fill up the gas and windshield fluid tanks. And if you’re on the road a lot, purchase a survival kit that includes a blanket, a first-aid kit, a knife, a flashlight, jumper cables and a cellphone charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter.

• Keep the house warm: An older body has a harder time maintaining its temperature, and since most seniors have a limited income, they usually turn down the heat setting. So, set your thermostat to at least 68 degrees and wear warm clothing.

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