Cold weather brings all sorts of inconveniences to our lives, one of which is an increased risk of health problems and accidents. Every year, people who live in icy regions face the prospect of shoveling walkways, removing ice from windshields, keeping warm at home, driving on hazardous roads, and more. Why be a victim? There are dozens of time-tested ways to minimize the risks of winter. Here are some of the most effective ways to stay safe, warm, and comfortable when this year's frigid temperatures arrive.

Don't Strain When Shoveling

Even healthy adults can develop circulation and blood pressure problems when they go from a warm place, where they've been relaxing, into a very cold environment and suddenly begin doing strenuous work like shoveling. If you can't avoid the job, be sure to do some light exercises before heading outdoors and picking up the shovel. After you begin, take frequent rest breaks and try not to work alone. That way, if you do start to have any physical problems, there will be someone to get help.

Stay Warm at Home

If you forgot to have your house weather proofed and checked for air leaks before winter arrived, it's not too late. Ask a local contractor to inspect your insulation, see that all windows are properly sealed, look at your HVAC system and perhaps put in some extra padding around older doors and windows. It costs very little to get your house ready for the season. Plus, you'll be glad you did all these wise things once the mercury drops way down to the nether regions. These are just a few of the helpful winter tips by Pennsylvania residential elevator firm.

Dress Right

It's important to dress right during the cold months, and that warning does not pertain to fashion as much as it does taking care of your health. It means having all your skin covered if temps are below 20 degrees, wearing lip balm, covering your head when outdoors, wearing goggles if you have to be outside in extremely cold weather, having proper footwear for slippery surfaces and remembering to keep an extra set of clothing in your car trunk and in a spare backpack you carry with you.

Take Special Measures to Maintain Vehicles

If you own a car, spend time checking snow tires, all the lights, belts, hoses, oil level and other DIY tasks you can perform in your own garage. For the more complex chores, visit your favorite mechanic and have the pros do a complete winter check-up. Be sure to replace or fix anything that's found lacking, especially the starter, fuel pump, air bag systems, and fluid reservoirs.

After that, try to keep a survival kit in the trunk, to include a standard first aid package, two gallons of drinking water, two large blankets, flashlights with batteries, road flares, a good spare tire and some nutrition bars. When you travel in your car during periods of extreme weather, always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return. Stay in touch via telephone during trips and avoid driving at night. Icy roads and limited visibility can be a hazardous combination.