CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Before going outside this winter, you might want to make sure you are prepared for what Mother Nature has to offer.
We are talking about your health and how to avoid those painful injuries.
"During the winter time, we see a lot of people that go out and try to do too much," Nurse Practitioner Kimberly Keser said. "Like when there's snow on the ground or if you need to get snow off your driveway, a lot of times patients or people will try to do that too much. They give too much effort for that."
Cold temperatures like these are a contributing factor for why many people end up in the hospital.
"As far as exercising, you may not realize how much energy that expends. You need to make sure that you're healthy to do that," Keser said. "That you don't just go out and haven't exercised in months and try to get the snow off the driveway because that can take too much out of you and you can actually have a heart attack."
Keser said it's important that you make sure you know how cold it is outside and dress with layers. Also, wearing a hat is very important as well.
"It's very important that if you do go outside when the weather turns bad is that you dress warm and always use head protection," Keser added. "A lot of people don't realize this but we lose a lot of heat from our head."
Along with dressing warmly when you go out, another thing you should prepare for is the unforeseen weather elements that might surprise you on your doorstep one morning.
This includes having some salt on hand in case conditions become a little icy. Also, wear shoes and boots that have good grip or that are made for wintery conditions.
This especially applies to the elderly. Keser said they are more susceptible to the harsh winter weather.
"Elderly are definitely more at risk because their sensory systems aren't really as strong as younger people," Keser explained. "They may not even notice that they're having symptoms or that they're more fatigued than they normally are just because of their age basically."
Keser said overall it's important to try to stay as healthy as you can. This includes drinking plenty of fluids, exercising, routine doctor visits and making sure your immunizations are up to date. All this could be the difference from whether you get to where you're going or if you end up in the hospital, or worse.