Well, the extremely hot summer we had this year is almost just a memory considering how quickly the cooler weather will descend upon us. Fall is, indeed, here with a cold western Pennsylvania winter following closely. Keeping that in mind, those with chronic respiratory problems should be thinking of a few things:

  • Get your flu shot now. Vaccines are readily available and you are certainly on the top of the list of those who benefit from them most.
  • Get a pneumonia vaccine if yours has expired. Ask your doctor if you’re up to date.
  • Make sure to keep up with all your medications and always make sure you have enough for a few days in case inclement weather prevents you from going out to get them.
  • If you don’t have a rescue inhaler, get one. The cold weather affects many folks with chronic lung disease, so be prepared.
  • Keep up with your pulmonary rehab regimen. Winter is no time to have your defenses down, and except for the very coldest days, there is no good excuse not to go.
  • If you stopped pulmonary rehab for a while this is a great time to get back into the habit. The exercise will do you good and keep you healthier through the cold, dreary days (and all year round for that matter).
  • It’s not too early to call us for a cold weather mask. It will help warm the air you breathe in when you go to pulmonary rehab on those very frigid days.
  • Make chicken soup. Its healing properties are for real and it tastes so good when it gets cooler outside. Make a big pot and put some in the freezer.
  • I know it’s too early to talk about the holidays, but do some shopping a little at a time to save yourself some stress.

Stay warm and keep exercising. Before you know, it spring will be here.