Protecting Yourself from the Cold During the Fall Season
Is it possible to avoid colds and other illness that come along with the fall season? Fortunately, there are good habits that both children and adults can put into practice to maintain good health.
When summer ends, the temperature change is quite noticeable. The arrival of the fall season means cold temperature and wind, which have a tendency to affect our health. For example, coughs and colds start to pop up all over the place.
But, is it really the cold temperatures that put us at risk for getting sick? Truth be told, the low temperatures aren’t really to blame. Rather, it’s the attitude we take on towards them. Continue reading to find out what we mean.
Why are colds more common during the fall season?
When the cold comes, humidity in the environment drops and this contributes to the transmission of viruses in the air. Since people have a tendency to look for warmth when it’s cold outside, we tend to spend more time indoors. This agglomeration makes it easier for viruses to spread from one person to the next.
Furthermore, cold temperatures tend to make our nasal passages dryer. Under this condition, it’s much easier for viruses to enter our airways. For that reason, we tend to refer to our cold symptoms as “the common cold.”
At the same time, cold weather brings our defenses below normal. Basically, cold temperatures create a series of conditions that favor the spread of flu symptoms.
A perspective on low defenses
Some people believe that changes in our nasal passages have to do with a drop in our immune systems due to the cold. When our body temperature falls, the blood vessels located in our throat and nose shrink.
The circulation of white blood cells in our airways is believed to depend on these blood vessels. When these vessels reduce in size, we may be less protected in these areas. That means viruses and infections can enter our bodies more easily.
When it comes to warmer countries that only have two seasons, this occurs during the rainy season. And just like blood vessels shrink in the cold, heat causes them to dilate. The problem is that, since the virus has already entered our body, it reproduces and affects us.
Does taking vitamin C help?
Truth be told, science has yet to prove the link between vitamin C and improved defenses. If the issue is already in your airways, then vitamin C will make no difference in your health.
Contrary to what many believe, drinking a lot of water doesn’t help to prevent the spread of viruses either. However, drinking plenty of liquids once you’re already sick helps expel the virus through your urine.
A balanced diet, with vitamins and minerals does have a positive influence on one’s immune system. The healing process takes care of itself. Most medications only help to control the impact of symptoms, but don’t actually help you heal faster.
“Cold temperatures create a series of conditions that favor the spread of flu symptoms.”
Measures for preventing the spread of colds during the fall season
These guidelines are very effective in preventing the spread of coughs and colds during the fall season:
- Bundle up before going out: We already know that temperature changes influence the entry of viruses. Therefore, logically, we should stay warm and protect ourselves.
- Eat citrus fruits: Citrus fruits are a natural source of vitamin C and other minerals as well. Their nutritional richness helps to keep our immune systems strong.
- Wash your hands and face constantly: Our hands are a means of transportation for viruses and bacteria. If you touch a railing or door handle that a sick person has also touched, and then touch your face or mouth, you’ll catch the germs.
- Ventilate your home and work space: Both at home and in your place of work, it’s important to open the windows. Air circulation allows for fresh air in enclosed places, preventing the growth of germs.
Other tips for protecting yourself during the fall season
During cold and rainy days, the measures you take to protect you and your children should be more rigorous. It all starts with a healthy lifestyle, accompanied by good eating habits.
During the fall months, the most simple of habits can help. For example, it’s important to get at least 8 hours of rest each night. Overexerting your body or voice can facilitate the entry of viruses and produce coughs and colds.
It’s also a good idea to change your sheets often and wash any clothes that you use to go out. Your mission is to disinfect everything and try to keep microorganisms from reproducing easily. Keeping your home clean is key.
Even if you do all of these things, you still run the chance of catching a gold at some point. The good thing is, you already know what’s hiding behind coughs and colds. From now on, you’ll be able to better protect yourself from the cold during the fall season.