Staying Healthy During the Winter Months
By Donna Stark
If you grew up thinking you would catch a cold by being outside without a jacket or a hat on, you're not alone. Many of our moms and grandmothers used to say that to us all the time! But is it true? Well, as many things are, the truth is often stretched to make a point. In this case, you won't get sick simply because your body is chilly, but the colder weather you are experiencing can lead to illness. Take a look at why your loved ones wanted to protect you from the cold so much and what steps you can take now to reduce your risk of getting sick during winter.
The Air Is Dryer
Cold, winter air holds less moisture than warm air. This dry air can leave your skin and respiratory membranes irritated, cracked, and sore. In addition to being painful, and potentially causing your skin and nose to bleed, this dryness can lead to many other health issues. It does so because your membranes need moisture to catch all those things that make you sick, like germs, viruses, and bacteria. So, if that moisture is compromised, those things won't be caught, and the risk of illness will increase significantly.
Viruses Love Cold Weather
Have you ever wondered why the cold and flu season occurs during the winter months? It's because viruses love the cooler air. Cold air helps them replicate faster and remain infectious for a longer period of time. But remember, it's not just cold air that causes a problem. Dry air has its hand in it too.
Steps to Take
How your immune system responds during the winter months depends greatly on how proactive you are with your overall health and wellness. Take a look at the following tips on how to reduce the risk of getting sick.
- Wear a scarf over your nose and mouth when outdoors
- Wash your hands often throughout the day
- Avoid touching your face
- Drink the recommended amount of water
- Stay physically active
- Eat a nutrient-dense diet
- Invest in a humidifier for each room of your home
- Moisturize your skin
Enjoy the Cold Weather
Don't be afraid to enjoy the colder weather, but before you do, make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle. Eat a nutritious diet, get plenty of sleep, exercise daily, and treat your body well. Your mother and grandmother weren't too far away from the truth when they told you about the dangers of cold weather so don't disappoint them now. Be prepared and stay as healthy as you can!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Woodbury, Minn.