Between the holidays and winter has set in, you’re probably feeling under the weather. Why is that? Not surprisingly, scientists have explanations. Here are 10 common reasons why you get sick in the winter months.
10 Reasons why we get more colds in the winter
It’s official: winter is the season of sniffles, sneezes, and sore throats. But why do we get more colds in the winter?
There are a few reasons why you’re more likely to catch a cold in winter:
1. Cold weather lowers your immunity.
When the temperature drops, our bodies have to work harder to maintain our core body temperature. This means our immune system isn’t working as efficiently, making us more susceptible to infection.
2. We’re indoors more often.
In winter, we spend more time indoors where we’re in close proximity to other people who may be carrying a cold virus. When someone with cold coughs or sneezes, the virus can spread through the air and cause others to become infected.
3. We let our guard down.
Winter is a time for cozy nights in front of the fire and relaxed socializing with friends and family. But it’s also a time when we let our guard down when it comes to healthy habits like washing our hands regularly and getting enough sleep. This can make us more vulnerable to picking up a cold virus.
4. We’re under stress.
The festive season is over but that doesn’t mean the stress disappears. For many people, winter is a time of increased stress at work and at home which can lower our immunity even further.
5. We’re not getting enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential for a strong immune system but in winter we don’t get as much of it from sunlight. This is because the sun’s rays are not as strong in winter and we tend to spend more time indoors.
6. We’re not drinking enough water.
In winter, we tend to drink less water and other fluids which can leave us dehydrated. This can make our mucous membranes dry and cracked, making it easier for viruses to enter our bodies.
7. We’re not eating as well.
During the colder months, we may not be eating as healthily as we should be. We may crave comfort foods that are high in sugar and fat and this can impact our immune system.
8. We’re not exercising enough.
In winter, it’s easy to let our exercise routines slide but this can also impact our immunity. Exercise helps to improve circulation and increase the production of white blood cells which fight infection.
9. We’re exposed to more chemicals.
During winter, we’re exposed to more chemicals from things like cleaning products, anti-freeze, and central heating. These can irritate our airways and make us more susceptible to colds and other respiratory infections.
10. We’re not getting enough sleep.
In winter, it’s darker for longer and we tend to stay up later. This can disrupt our natural sleep patterns and leave us feeling tired during the day. A lack of sleep can also lower our immunity, making us more susceptible to colds and other infections.
Prevention against colds and viruses
There are a few things you can do to help prevent getting colds and viruses in the winter:
1. Get a flu shot.
Flu shots are recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. They are especially important for people at high risk for complications from the flu, such as young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions, and the elderly.
2. Wash your hands often and well.
Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs that cause colds and other illnesses. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
3. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
When you are around someone who is sick, there is a greater chance you will catch their illness. So it’s best to avoid close contact, such as hugging or kissing, with someone who is sick.
4. Clean surfaces that may be contaminated with germs.
If someone in your home is sick, clean surfaces that they have touched often, such as door handles, light switches, countertops, and keyboards. Use a disinfectant cleaner or wipes to clean these surfaces daily.
5. Stay warm and dry when outside in cold weather.
Cold weather can weaken your immune system, putting you at greater risk of getting a cold or virus. To help prevent this, dress in warm layers when you go outside in the cold and try to stay dry (avoiding wet clothes ).
Eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help improve your immune system. This, in turn, may help you fight off colds and viruses more effectively.
Some common prevention methods are:
There are a few things you can do to help prevent getting a cold this winter season. Some common prevention methods are:
1. Wash your hands regularly and often, especially before you eat.
2. Avoid touching your face, especially your nose and mouth.
3. Stay away from sick people as much as possible.
4. Get plenty of rest and sleep.
5. Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
6. Drink lots of fluids, especially water, to stay hydrated.
One of the most common ways that people catch colds is by touching surfaces that are contaminated with the virus and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. To protect yourself from this, make sure to use hand sanitizer often, especially after coming into contact with common high-touch areas like doorknobs, countertops, and railings.
Disposable hand gel
1. Hand gel is one of the most common ways that people catch colds in the winter. The gel can contain viruses and bacteria that can cause a cold, and it can be transferrable to other people if you don’t wash your hands after using it.
2. If you’re using hand gel regularly, make sure to also wash your hands with soap and water afterward to avoid transferring any harmful germs.
3. It’s also a good idea to avoid sharing hand gels with others, as this can increase the chances of passing on a cold virus.
Covering mouth when coughing or sneezing
One of the most important things you can do to prevent the spread of colds is to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Coughing and sneezing into your hands can transfer germs to surfaces that other people touch, and these germs can then be passed on to others. By coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow, you can help reduce the spread of colds.
Getting vaccinated for various things such as the flu.
During the winter, we are more likely to be exposed to various illnesses and viruses. One of the best ways to protect ourselves is by getting vaccinated for things like the flu. The flu vaccine can help us avoid getting sick and missing work or school, as well as prevent serious health complications like pneumonia. Vaccines are available for free at many pharmacies and doctor’s offices, so there’s no excuse not to get one. It’s also important to get a booster shot every year as the influenza virus can change from year to year.
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