Participating in outdoor activities in the winter can really lift your spirits and improve your health. All that exercise releases endorphins to make you feel happy. And if it’s sunny you gain the added boost of vitamin D that helps balance your brains serotonin levels so you can feel even happier.
Even on ordinary winter days, your winter meals tend to be heartier, and you may be surprised to learn that going out in the cold temperatures can give your metabolism a boost to help you burn off those extra winter calories.
Winter gives you the opportunity to do things differently and see things in a different way. Just going for a walk can use different muscles when you have to wade through snow than when the sun is out, and the sidewalks are clear. And while it’s true that being outside in the cold can cause a runny nose, remember that it’s your body’s way of expelling bacteria in cold temperatures. As long as it’s not accompanied by any other symptoms, you’re in good health.
Winter can be the most wonderful time of the year to grab your snow pants, bring your loved ones, and enjoy special outdoor activities like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating and hockey, curling and tubing.
Like to stay where it is nice and warm? Solo and indoor enthusiasts gear up their winter activity with online workouts and yoga or weightlifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) guided by their fitness trackers.
Whatever your active passion is, you never know when an accident can happen.
What is certain is that your government health plan won’t cover all you’re recovery healthcare costs. Where does that leave you? With the cold hard truth that your finances will be impacted by out-of-pocket costs.
Here are a few of the most common winter accident health events, and how health insurance helps.
Winter Woes You May Need Health Insurance For
Here are just a few of the injuries that can happen in your efforts to be healthy this winter and how health insurance helps.
Taking turns with friends dragging a sled up a hill is great exercise, and riding it back down is exhilarating. Running and the throwing of snowballs at friends is a great cardiovascular workout. Building a snowman can help tone you up by lifting heavy snow. Or you might just be shoveling snow. Winter activities can really work your muscles, and as you twist, toss and tug you can experience serious muscle strain. If you make an appointment with a massage therapist to ease the pain, you could be out of pocket for $50 to $100 per session. Or, you can depend on some of those costs for therapeutic visits to be covered by your health insurance.
Knee and ankle damage
Tears to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) that connects your thigh bone to the shin bone are quite common if you ski and twist your knee to break your fall. When you play hockey, overstretching the ligament of your knee can happen when another player falls into you, or you have an awkward fall onto the ice or into the boards. It also happens with a quick change in direction when racing the kids at the local rink that stresses your knee. Knee injuries are painful – and can require prescription medication, a knee brace and therapy which can be costly unless health insurance is in place.
And if it’s icy? Falls can lead to a sprained or fractured ankle, with some requiring surgery to repair.
Arm, Wrist and Hand Injuries
When we are falling, we instinctively reach out to brace ourselves against the fall, but this reflex can result in sprains, strains, dislocations, lacerations, contusions and breaks. Bone or cartilage damage in your fingers and wrists, elbows and shoulders can cause pain – needing medication and therapy – for days, months and even years. Overuse or trauma to the elbow can cause bursitis – swelling and tenderness – that may require antibiotics. Prescription drug coverage is vital.
A concussion results when you fall and really impact your head. Concussion can be extremely serious. Symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, problems balancing, and mood changes may persist for a couple of days or up to several months. You may require prescription drugs and therapy – which can be covered by health insurance.
As hard as it is to think about, accidents do happen – some more severe than others.
Many factors affect the cost of emergency treatment for broken or knocked out teeth, like a need for additional procedures and the materials used to build the replacement teeth, but a rough estimate is $700-1500 – per tooth!
Make health insurance your winter protection
Check your health and dental insurance plan to see what professional services are available to help you manage winter healthcare emergencies.
Beyond providing prescription drug coverage, supplemental health insurance provides coverage for healthcare costs you’ll have like
- Accidental Dental to repair or replace natural teeth which were damaged because of a blow to the mouth is included with extended health benefits
- Basic dental coverage for preventative cleaning, polishing and scaling, routine examinations, x-rays, fillings, extractions and root canal therapy
- Major services for full or partial dentures, crown or onlay restorations, bridges
- Orthodontic Services to straighten teeth and correct bite
Chiropractor, footcare specialists (Chiropodist/Podiatrist), Naturopath, Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist and Registered Massage Therapist (RMT)
Durable Equipment needs
Aids for daily living including braces, casts, custom foot orthotics, canes, crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs
Your health is important and no matter the season
It’s important to stay active, even if there are risks. The bottom line is that accidents happen. One day you’re living your best active life, and the next you are down and out with an injury. Don’t get caught off guard. Health insurance coverage from SBIS can keep an accident from turning into a budgetary crisis.
You can shop and compare plans anytime at sbis.ca/health-insurance. Or learn more about your options from one of our telephone specialists ready to help at no cost to you.