Building Up Immunity for the Colder Season
As the temperatures drop and the leaves fall to the ground, many people are trying to figure out exactly how to avoid getting a cold or flu this season. Illnesses are normally associated with the change in weather, and it helps to be prepared for the viruses that could be waiting around the corner. Here are some tips to keep you as healthy as possible in the cold, and all year long.
Does Cold Weather Cause Colds?
The most frequent reason given for acquiring a cold virus is colder weather. Surprisingly, medical studies show that there is no definite connection between being in the cold and catching a cold. Over 100 viruses can be the root cause of a cold, and they are typically transmitted through people, not weather. When a person has a cold, they transfer the virus to another person by coughing, talking, sneezing, and touching. The germ droplets are in the air and the second person receives them. Also, germs could be spread by the contact of objects, such as the telephone, utensils, and towels. Among the various viruses, the rhinovirus is the most common cause of a cold. It enters a person's body by way of their mouth or nose. You can catch a cold by being in close proximity of someone who has the virus, which explains why colds spread more in the colder months. People are generally inside more during cold weather or when it is raining, and there are many more chances for the cold virus to be passed and received.
One of the best ways to prevent a cold is to be aware of your surroundings. If you are around someone with a cold, do not spend too much time near them. Do not share things like drinking glasses, utensils, or towels. Instead, use a disposable cup whenever you or someone else is sick. Another tip is to label the cup of the person with a cold, or of everyone using the cups. Sanitation Wash your hands frequently and correctly, particularly after you have used a tissue to sneeze or wipe your nose. Clean kitchen and bathroom items frequently and wash other things that could transmit a cold virus. These include children's toys and doorknobs. When you have to sneeze or cough, but there is no tissue available, use the bend in your elbow so that your hands will not be infected. Stay Warm and Well Fed! Although cold weather is not the direct cause of a cold, it can have an effect on your immune system simply by being rougher on the body than warm weather. Wear warm, comfortable clothing so that you’re not always tense and shivering in the cold. Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to keep cold, dry air from bothering your throat. Eat plenty of healthy foods to keep your immune system running at peak levels. Sleep Rest is essential for your body's immune system to stay strong and protect you from viruses. The recommended amount of sleep is 7 to 8 hours each night. Without a good night's sleep, you will have less energy and be less alert for the symptoms displayed by others that might have a cold. Exercise Along with boosting the immune system, exercise makes it easier to manage weight. Cardio will improve your blood flow and cardiovascular system, while strength training can maintain muscle firmness, burning more fat in the process. Since excess fat and obesity can lower a person's resistance to cold viruses, exercise is very beneficial. Take the initiative to get enough physical activity in the colder months and do not allow the weather to distract you from your motivation.
Even though colds might not technically be caused by the weather, other illnesses can be attributed to prolonged exposure to low temperatures. Be safe and wear the appropriate clothing when you leave the house, especially on your feet and hands. Watch for any extreme changes in the weather and stay one step ahead of the cold and the cold virus. Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-cold/DS00056 http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-cold/DS00056/DSECTION=causes http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-cold/DS00056/DSECTION=prevention