Does Cold Weather Make You Sick?
When you were younger I’m sure you heard your mother or grandmother tell you to “bundle up or you’ll get a cold!” once or twice before you ran out of the door to play in the snow. But despite cold season happening during the winter months, the common association with sickness and negative temperatures, and the irony of the name, the temperature of the air does not increase your chances of contracting a cold.
So what ACTUALLY makes you sick?
The common cold and the flu are caused due to your body’s exposure to a virus. Your body becomes exposed to these viruses through contact with other people in close quarters. The common cold has hundreds of streams of viruses, making it very difficult to treat and unfortunately leaving you to fend the illness on your own until it passes through your system. Alternatively, the flu is caused by a single virus called the influenza virus, which there is a vaccination for that is provided to the public prior to flu season in almost every pharmacy and clinic across North America.
Why do I get sick more often in the Winter?
The irony of your parents or grandparents telling you to make sure to stay warm and limit your time in the cold to lower your risk of getting a cold is that staying outside is actually what prevents you from getting sick in the first place. People tend to contract illnesses more frequently in the colder months because they spend more time indoors in close quarters with other people. This leaves you exposed to a larger array of viruses and makes you susceptible to contract a cold or flu due to your close contact with others. Children are also in school during the colder months of the year. This exposes them to a large pool of germs, which they then carry home with them after school has finished.
How can I prevent getting sick?
Wash your hands!
You’ve heard it a million times, but we can’t stress enough the importance of maintaining good hygiene if you want to avoid getting sick. Carry a small container of hand sanitizer with you to have access to hand washing at all times.
Buy a humidifier!
Some evidence has shown that environments with dry air actually promote the spreading of the viruses that cause the flu or a cold. Because people rely on their heaters to keep their houses warm during the winters, this makes a house the perfect breeding ground for viruses. You can help prevent this by purchasing a humidifier to place in your house. This will release moisture in the air and help prevent viruses from spreading. Humidifiers not only prevent the spreading of viruses, but can also benefit the health of your skin, hair, and nails.