Tag - Winter

Diabetes Skin Care During Dry Winter Months
How to Stay Active During the Winter
Create a Winter Safety Plan

Diabetes Skin Care During Dry Winter Months

By: Nancy Wagner

Your skin is the biggest organ in your body and it needs extra attention during the cold, dry winter months. Lower outdoor humidity and heaters in the home cause the air to become dry, which makes it more likely your skin will be dry. People with diabetes need to take extra care to avoid irritation, cracking and bleeding. What can you do to maximize skin health?

  1. Hydrate from the inside – Drink plenty of water and avoid excess caffeine and alcohol.
  2. Use a humidifier – At home and at work.
  3. Control your blood sugars – Elevated blood sugars will pull moisture out of the body.
  4. Moisturize – Use a heavier, oil-based moisturizer, ointment or cream in the winter months. Do not use moisturizer between your toes.
  5. Keep hands covered – Wear gloves or mittens when outdoors.
  6. Avoid wet gloves and socks – This could irritate sensitive skin.
  7. Baths and showers – Avoid hot water and keep your bath/shower short.
  8. Avoid irritating soaps, detergents and cleansers – Instead use mild ones and wear gloves when cleaning.
  9. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing – Rubbing can irritate. Be sure to fully dry between your toes. Leave your arms and legs slightly moist, then apply moisturizer.
  10. Don’t forget your lips – Use lip balm frequently.
  11. Keep warm – Getting cold can aggravate circulation problems. Dress in layers which can be taken off if you become too warm.

Nancy Wagner is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Certified Diabetes Educator at Copley Hospital. She provides health and wellness to Copley employees through screenings, education and fun activities; educates patients regarding their nutrition and diabetes needs; and works with community members providing education to schools and businesses. Nancy enjoys helping others learn new things about nutrition, their health habits, and their chronic diseases.

How to Stay Active During the Winter

By: Caleb Magoon

How to stay active in the winter - Live Well Lamoille

Winter in Vermont is a challenging time to get outside and keep up your physical activity. It’s often cold and snowy, yet sometimes it’s neither of those things. It often seems like only thing you can really count on is the weather not cooperating with what you want to do.

It’s still important to stay active and healthy, even when the weather isn’t ideal. Fresh air, vitamin D and a little exercise are all good for the body, mind and soul – especially during the winter. Here are a few activity suggestions and the gear you will need to help you stay active.

Walk and hike– Many new products have come out in recent years to help you keep



your traction on ice and snow. For walking, Yaktrax or Stabilicers can give you traction
on ice or snow. Katoolah makes “Nanospike,” perfect for running or walking, and “Microspikes,” the hot product for hiking and trekking. Katoolah also makes more aggressive crampons for Trekking. All of these products are great options for a snowless or minimal snow winter.

When it snows, snowshoes are very helpful, and plenty of options exist for any price and purpose.

Try Nordic skiing- You can’t beat the bang for your buck when it comes to Nordic, or cross-country, skiing. Once you have the gear, it’s easy to jump on a trail and go. Cross country skiing is low impact, fairly easy and a good mix of cardio and strength exercise. If you’re looking for a bit more of a workout, try Skate skiing. The Stowe Recreation path, the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail, People’s Academy Trails and Cricket Hill Trails next to Lamoille Union High School are all great, free options. Check with your neighbor, too. Many locals groom their own trails. They’re everywhere!

Hop on a bike- You may have seen a bike with large tires floating around your town. These are fat bikes, made for ice or snow. While many of these bikes are higher end and made for enthusiasts, the prices have come down in recent years. There are now several models under $1000 and these bikes are a great way to get on the rail trail or a dirt road safely during the winter to get the legs spinning.

Fat Tire Bike - Live Well Lamoille

Ice skating- I know what you’re thinking: “You won’t catch me on those skinny blades!” Many towns maintain public ice rinks, and places like Smugglers’ Notch and Stowe Mountain Resort also have inexpensive or free skating. Plus, in a low snow year, plenty of ponds and lakes are accessible. (But make sure to be safe!) Skates have gotten much better in their performance and are now considerably warmer and more comfortable. Yes, I said comfortable! Finally, if you are leery about the stability of skating, bring something to help balance you. Use an upside-down trashcan, a walker or something similar to hold onto. Kids often use milk crates. This is a great way to maintain stability while getting your “skate legs.”

How to stay warm outside- It’s hard to have fun if you’re cold all the time. Invest in clothing and layers that are not cotton. Natural fibers like wool work best. Polyester is also better than cotton – these fibers help keep you dry and warm. Windstopper is a technology that can help keep you warmer in windy weather and Gortex helps to keep you dry. Lastly, if your face typically gets cold, buy a set of inexpensive goggles. Make sure they have a clear, not tinted lens. For just a few bucks, they help keep your face warm! You can also consult a ski or winter gear shop – they have lots of secrets on staying warm.

Whatever you do, don’t let winter weather keep you inside. Use it as a reason to get out! Try a few different activities to discover what you like best, and invest in the gear you need to stay warm and keep at it. Your physical and mental health will thank you during our long winters.

Caleb Magoon is a Hyde Park native who grew up hiking, hunting, biking and exploring Vermont’s Green Mountains. His passions for sports and recreation have fueled his career as the owner of Power Play Sports and Waterbury Sports. Caleb encourages outdoor activity and believes it is an essential element to a healthy lifestyle and the Vermont way of life. Caleb serves the Lamoille Valley by volunteering on numerous community boards such as the Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Morrisville Alliance for Commerce and Culture, Mellow Velo, and the state chapter of The Main Street Alliance. He lives, plays and works in Hyde Park with his wife Kerrie.

Create a Winter Safety Plan

By: Valerie Valcour

winer preparednessWe have had our first reality check of the coming winter season. With the first snow of the season, I am reminded of the importance of creating my winter safety plan for this year.

What always comes to my mind first is getting my car ready for the winter. When will I put on my snow tires? Do I have a blanket, water, granola bars, window scraper and shovel in the trunk?

What about my house? What will I do if I lose power for an extended amount of time? What if I get snowed in? Are my older family members set up for an extended power outage?

These are all things we need to plan for now and communicate with our family and friends. The Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security has a website with helpful tips to creating your Winter Safety plan. Check it out here.

Planning is the key to being prepared. Creating a plan with your family and workplace is the first step. This plan can include:

  • what to do in various situations, such as an extended power outage or deep snow or ice,
  • what you will do about your pets,
  • which important documents should be protected from floodwaters,
  • what medications you should have with you, and
  • where you will store non-perishable foods and water.

You can find a checklist for your planning here.

Communicating your plan is the next step. Be sure all the people who need to know your plan have a copy of it and know how to reach in you in an emergency.

Vermont Emergency Management has many ways to help us stay informed about all hazard or emergency events:

Don’t let this winter take you by surprise. Be prepared. You can always contact your local Vermont Department of Health, 802-888-7447 for more information.

Valerie Valcour is a Public Health Nurse and specializes in chronic disease prevention and emergency preparedness at the community level for the Department of Health in Morrisville. Valerie has lived in Lamoille County most of her life. She graduated from People’s Academy in 1983 and worked as a nurse at Copley Hospital for several years. In addition to her work, she volunteers as a board member of both Community Health Services of Lamoille Valley and the Lamoille County Planning Commission.