Tis the most wonderful time of the year! Many of us may find ourselves planning getaways to colder climates, and there's a common belief that sudden exposure to colder weather can make you sick, but that's actually not true.
Contrary to popular belief, the cold itself doesn't make you sick. Illness results from exposure to bacteria or viruses. However, the change in humidity during colder seasons can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to germs and viruses.
How Does Low Humidity Affect You?
In colder climates, lower humidity levels can lead to dry skin, eyes, and respiratory membranes. This dryness weakens your defenses against bacteria and viruses. Additionally, viruses tend to thrive and spread more easily in colder temperatures, increasing the likelihood of illness.
Did you also know that the cold also breaks down those pesky bacteria, making it easier for others to inevitably inhale?
But, of course, there are several factors that contribute to a weakened immune system during colder months, including lower vitamin D levels due to reduced sunlight exposure, increased indoor time with close proximity to others, and blood vessels narrowing in response to cold and dry air.
To stay healthy during your winter holiday, consider the following tips:
1) Take vitamin D supplements or consume foods rich in vitamin D.
2) Ensure you get plenty of rest and sleep.
3) Stay hydrated to support overall well-being.
4) Practice good hygiene, including regular handwashing.
5) Avoid sharing items with individuals who have cold or flu symptoms.
6) Get a flu vaccine.
7) Use a humidifier indoors to increase humidity levels.
When to Seek Medical Attention:
Remember, while weather doesn't cause colds or the flu, exposure to cold conditions can increase your risk of catching a virus. If you do fall ill during your holiday, don't hesitate to seek medical attention at the nearest clinic or emergency room to alleviate your symptoms and get back to enjoying your time away.
Stay warm, stay healthy, and enjoy the magic of the season!