Winter is the season of happy Christmas days and snow fun, but it’s also the time of cold weather diseases like common cold, flu and sinusitis. With a few precautions however, you can enjoy the funs of winter while avoiding the discomfort of it.
Why winter is associated with some certain diseases?
Cold doesn’t make us sick directly. It just makes us spend too much time indoors in crowded cafes, cinemas or malls. This increases the possibility of getting contagious illnesses, especially flu infections. Also, winter is “cold” for us only, the human beings, but ideally “warm” for most bacteria and viruses. Thus, most of them live comfortably in temperatures below zero.
So during cold days, a number of measures need to be taken to protect the body’s defense system and fight diseases. Here, we gathered scientifically proven advices from internal medicine experts about ways to protect against winter illnesses:
Personal hygiene, especially hand washing is your strongest weapon
Hands are the main transmission route of germs. It is possible to prevent many diseases by only washing hands frequent enough. Especially when arriving home from outside, after using public transportation vehicles, and needless to say but after toilet visits, hands should be either washed first.
Keep your air fresh and moist enough
Keeping the windows closed for long hours decrease the quality of air in houses and offices. Heaters dry out the air and this weakens mucus inside our noses. Mucus is essential for catching microbes and filtering air. In winter, frequently ventilate houses and offices to moisten and freshen the air inside.
Consuming plenty of fluid, vegetables and fruits accelerate healing process
With the winter months, various diseases begin to manifest themselves. It is very important to consume plenty of fluids during this period to prevent diseases. In case of infection and high fever, consuming enough fluid accelerates the healing process. Winter vegetables and fruits strengthen our immune systems. Consume fresh fruit and veggies every day.
Listen to your doctor before taking vitamins and herbal products
Vitamins should not be taken without a doctor’s recommendation. A balanced and regular diet is most of the times enough for you, and is also more effective than vitamin tablets and herbal supplements. Also, since many herbal products can interact with medicines, they shall never be used without a doctor’s recommendation.
Benefit from the protective effect of vaccination
New flu outbreaks come around every year. The flu vaccines are not 100% protective, but still they prevent the flu from becoming more severe. Especially those of us with chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart diseases and the elderly should be vaccinated with a doctor’s recommendation.
Be weather-wise fashionable
Dressing correctly is very important to protect against winter diseases. Before leaving home, check the weather and choose your clothes accordingly. Taking precautions against sudden weather changes can prevent many unwanted results.
Regular walking and exercise are important
In the winter months, the sun sets early and the weather is generally overcast, which can negatively affect your emotional and physiological state. Walking and exercising become much more important during winter. Even the lightest exercise improves the functioning of biological cycles from cardiovascular system to digestive tract.