Cold season is here. We have been raised with the practice of “staying warm” to avoid getting colds, and worst – flu. It is not as simple as that.
Colds and other sickness during Cold Months
Experts say that it is not the cold weather that causes common colds. When it is cold outside, the temperature of our body drops and lowers our immunity that can result to colds. With a strong immune system and a healthy lifestyle, our human body will generate more mucus that shields us from infections. On the other hand, weak immune system draws the infection into the body making us more prone to get sick.
Cold temperatures can cause the blood vessels to the outside of the body, such as those in the nose to contract. This will result to dryness when we are outside. Returning to inside will make blood vessels open up and our nose begins to run. The dryness outside weakens the body’s ability to filter infections. It is the air inside that gives us the common colds.
Runny nose can cause us to breathe with the mouth, and as a result, virus-bearing mucus can be inhaled and give us colds and respiratory infections. Colder temperatures means increased humidity, and therefore the air inside is very dry. The low humidity inside our body increases viral transmission rates because the dry aid permits small viral droplets to remain in the air longer and spread further.
How Colds and infections spread
Virus transmits from the hands of someone to other hands, directly or via intermediate surface such as door knobs. From our hands, it moves to our eyes and nose.
Children are easy prey to common colds, flu and other infections. Children move around and play together while touching surfaces and one another. Close proximity, dry air inside, and less hygienic practices are major factors to get colds and infections.
How to stay healthy during Cold season
Dress in Layers
Dress accordingly. Underwears should be of natural materials that have the ability to breathe and filter sweat, such as cotton and silk. The body-warming base is your main protection under any tee-shirt, jumper, or top.
The second layer should be a thin top that can work on its own inside a centrally-heated conditions. Outer jumper or cardigan are great partners when we go outside and take off basing on the temperature when we return inside.
When we are outside, we have to have a weather-resistant coat or jacket. When we step inside, take it off immediately. Many of us keep their outside jacket on inside which is a mistake. It will generate more heat and increase the infection risks. This is because our human body reacts to the unexpected increase of temperature.
Sports and fitness attire should be chosen thoroughly to avoid hypothermia. Our body must be free to react normally whenever we move. There are good sports attire in the market that allows us to breathe and doing our workouts while staying warm.
Also, remember that heat escapes from the extremities, and therefore lined-gloves, appropriate shoes and hat are essentials during cold months. Double gloves are also recommended.
Superfoods during cold season
Increase intake of fruits and vegetables to build up body’s resistance. Experts say that our natural defense that help increase our immunity are vitamins and minerals. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, and chili are rich in natural anti-infection properties.
Vitamin C and Zinc shield us from colds. Opt for juicing and blend vegetables, fruits, and spices in delicious preventive health boosters.
Begin the day warm by having a hot porridge sprinkled with granola, cinnamon, and berries. Eating warm breakfast heats us from inside and emits energy slowly.
Slow cooking is another method to optimize the nutritional value of vegetables during these cold months.