Family Health

7 ways to be an active family this winter

Freezing temperatures, snow, ice and gray skies make it hard to want to do anything except snuggle up on the couch, watch movies and drink hot cocoa. But hibernating until spring isn’t the best way to stay healthy during the winter.

No matter the time of year, being active is an essential part of staying healthy. But have no fear — we’ve created a list of seven fun activities to get your family moving this winter.

You scared me to death! Sounds cliché, but it can really happen!

A victims of an attack; a fireman who rushes to the scene of a house fire; or a homeowner whose house survived a devastating tornado — these are all examples of extremely stressful situations that have been known to induce a heart attack.

“The odds are extremely rare,” said Joseph A. Lash, M.D., cardiologist with Norton Heart Specialists. “But in some circumstances a person who is otherwise healthy can endure a surge of adrenaline, causing acute, sudden heart failure.”

Monitor your heart rate to boost your workout

Stay on beat

Knowing your target heart rate will help you determine if you are undertraining, which could keep you from losing weight and limit any gains in endurance and strength, or overtraining, which can lead to injury.

“Your target heart rate zone ensures you are burning enough calories but not going overboard and risking injury,” said Robin Curry, M.D., sports medicine physician.

Dying of a broken heart: It actually happens

A broken heart — there are songs about it; poems about it; movies depicting it; and chances are you’ve felt the pain of it at some point in your life. In fact, dying of a broken heart actually is possible.

“Broken heart syndrome is the severe weakening of the heart muscle,” said Janet Smith, M.D., cardiologist at Norton Women’s Heart and Vascular Center. “It affects even the healthiest of people and is brought on by sudden stress.”

A fight for their lives: Keeping kids from developing diabetes

In Kentucky, 18 percent of high school-age kids are obese. Sadly, our state has the highest obesity rate in the country among this age group, according to “The State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” a report released in September 2014 by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Allergies even in the winter?

A friend was complaining about her allergies. I thought after the first hard freeze of the fall or winter, allergies weren’t an issue anymore. I was wrong! And after talking with Lori Scales, M.D., internal medicine and pediatrics physician with Norton Community Medical Associates – Mt. Washington, I learned even more.

Here’s what Dr. Scales had to say about winter allergies:

How is it that allergies affect us in the winter?