While some live for the summer sun, others love when the temperature starts to cool down outside. It signals a time for boots, sweaters, jackets, gloves and scarves. The only problem with the cooler air is that it seems to come along with a wave of sickness every year. The more drastic the temperature change, the more you notice coughs and sniffles from your family members, friends and co-workers. If you often fall ill during the change in seasons, it might be because of a bad habit. Here are seven habits you need to give up if you want to stop getting sick when weather turns cold:
1. Stop Covering Your Nose And Mouth With A Scarf
As much as you want to shield your face from the harsh wind, covering your nose and mouth with a scarf isn’t the best idea. When you’re out in the cold, the water vapor you breathe out when you exhale can turn into ice if it falls onto the material of a scarf. The air that passes through your iced-covered scarf is then even colder than it would be without that barrier. This can lead to angina and bronchitis. It can also irritate the skin. Feel free to bundle up with a scarf, but don’t use it to cover your nose!
2. Stop Drinking Something Hot Before Going Outside
You might think that sipping a hot chocolate right before you brave the cold might help keep you warm, but it turns out it may be doing the exact opposite. Hot drinks improve the body’s defense mechanisms and increase blood circulation. But they also cause your blood vessels to expand. When you go outside in the cold with expanded blood vessels, you’ll begin to lose your body heat more quickly. Drink your hot tea, coffee or hot chocolate after you’re out of the cold weather, not before you head out.
3. Stop Breathing Through Your Mouth When You’re Outside
The cold air has a tendency to sting. But when you breathe through your mouth, you’re not able to make warm air or add moisture to it. This can lead to angina. To avoid getting sick, breathe through your nose and take slow, deep breaths in cold weather.
4. Stop Drinking Alcohol In Cold Weather
You may have heard someone say that drinking alcohol warms you up in cold weather. This isn’t exactly true. You might feel a little warmer for about 30-40 minutes after drinking, but after this point, your body temperature will begin to drop rapidly. Because of the alcohol, your brain may not be able to detect this cool down, which can be dangerous. If you’re attending an outside event, dress for warmth instead of relying on alcohol.
5. Stop Running Home When You’re Shivering
When you’ve been outside in the cold for too long, your first instinct is to quickly find somewhere warm. If your body is too cold, your instinct is right. Trying to run a far distance when you’re already cold won’t help you warm up! If you need to, stop in somewhere warm such as a shop or a cafe and warm up for a few minutes, then continue on your way.
6. Stop Going Hungry In Cold Weather
Food provides the body with energy. The body needs energy in order to produce body heat. Thus, you need to eat food to produce body heat! If your body is telling you that you’re hungry, especially when the temperature is low outside, eat! It’ll help keep you warm when it’s time to brave the cold weather.
7. Stop Applying Cream Immediately Before Going Outside
When you apply lotion or cream, it causes water to evaporate from your skin for about 30-40 minutes. In cold weather, this can cause cooling and damage to the skin. Avoid going outside in cold weather for at least 30 minutes after you apply cream or lotion. You can also avoid using water-based creams for extra protection.
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