It’s easy to see why people get sicker during winter. If the hordes of incoming family members during the holidays are not enough to infect you with all sorts of illnesses, the winter period is also popularly referred to as the cold and flu season. As such, your chances of catching something are heightened during the winter months.
However, it is important to know that it is not the cold weather itself that makes one sick. As a matter of fact, you are more likely to fall ill during winter inside a heated building than you are in the bitter cold.
The common cold, in particular, is more common during spring and fall while the flu, which is generally caused by an array of strains of the influenza virus, tends to be more active during winter. The cold weather indeed plays a slight role in the high number of colds reported during the winter months.
That’s because the cold has a way of aggravating the condition, not causing it. Plus, the way that we respond or adapt to the cold weather is what makes people more susceptible to falling ill. That’s why the best thing that you can do to avoid falling ill during the winter months is to take good care of yourself.
That means that you should not only eat well and get plenty of exercise, but you should also make sure that you are sleeping adequately. If you are concerned about the array of illnesses that can affect you during the winter season including strep, bronchitis, pneumonia, or worse, the pandemic, here are some more tips that will ensure that you remain healthy during the cold season:
Avoid heated indoor air
During winter, it makes sense to crank up the thermostat, right? Wrong! While cold air will not give you the flu, heated indoor air will definitely increase your chances of catching something. Breathing in heated air only works to dry out your nose, preparing the perfect breeding ground for lurking viruses.
Viruses that cause colds and cases of flu reproduce a hundred times better in heated air than they do when there are moisture and humidity. Plus, because the air indoors is heated, people are more likely to remain inside for extended hours, where they remain in close contact with one another, thus making germ hopping easy.
When indoor air is dry and low in humidity, any particles that have been emitted into the air through sneezing or coughing break up and stay aloft for longer, therefore making it easier to infect others. As such, the best thing that you can do to avoid falling sick is to surround yourself with moist, not dry air as much as you can.
Workout whenever you can
Studies show that individuals who exercise are less likely to fall ill during winter and every other season. A study conducted on 1000 participants found that exercising almost reduced one’s odds of catching a cold or flu by half. Failing prevention, exercise make the infection much less severe.
Exercise helps to switch up your immune response placing your body in a better position to ward off any illnesses that come its way. Exercise also aids in the production of epinephrine, which in turn constricts the blood vessels around your nose so that any nasal discomfort can be released.
The type of exercise that you take part in doesn’t have to be heavy. It can be something as simple as measuring steps on your pedometer or swimming. Just make sure that you are taking part in an activity that you love.
Don’t forget your vitamins
Vitamin C is often referred to as a natural remedy for colds and many other illnesses. Vitamin C is known to boost the immune system. That’s why taking vitamin C consistently can help to thwart a cold or flu during winter.
But the human body does not produce vitamin C, which is needed for proper immune function, and a range of other functions including iron absorption, healthy hair and bines, and more. Vitamin C is acquired from our diets, usually from food items such as greens, tomatoes, strawberries, and of course, citrusy fruits such as oranges.
So if you want to avoid falling ill during winter, make sure that your diet contains vitamin-fortified food. If you struggle with your diet, vitamin C supplements can give you the protection that you need to ward off unwanted viruses. Ensure that you are also drinking plenty of water throughout. Having an accessory such as a stainless steel water bottle on hand with you at all times can guarantee that you keep up with your water intake.
Maintain a clean environment
You want to make sure that your environment is clean and germ-free to avoid falling sick during winter and any other time of year, for that matter. It helps to sanitize commonly shared areas and high touch surfaces such as remotes, stairways, door and cabinet handles, oven and microwave buttons, keyboards, and so on.
The viruses that cause colds and touches of flu, also known as Rhino and coronaviruses can stay active on the surface for more than 48 hours. As such, you should give your living area a good clean with disinfectant at least once a week or more if you have someone sick in the house.
Apart from cleaning your living area, something else that can cut down your risk of falling ill considerably is maintaining clean hands. If you are constantly putting your hands near your eyes and mouth, keeping them clean will make sure that you do not transfer any germs from the surface to your body. Where you don’t have access to clean water, you can also use alcohol-based hand disinfectant.
When winter strikes, your chances of catching a cold or the flu tend to rise considerably. But here is something most people don’t know: it’s not the cold weather itself that makes you sick, but how you react to it. But not to worry, with these great tips we’ve shared above, there will be no sickness for you this winter season. You’re welcome!