Can Being In the Cold Make You Sick? - Medshield Movement

Can Being In the Cold Make You Sick?

Now that it’s winter more and more people seem to be catching colds and flu. Is it just coincidence or does continued exposure to cold weather make you sick?  We look at some common myths and break down why people actually get sick in winter.

As a child, you might have grown up with your parents saying something along the lines of: “don’t stay out in the cold too long, you’ll get sick.” The truth is that cold weather alone does not make anyone ill. In fact, training in the cold has been shown to boost one’s health.

According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, regular cold-weather training could cut your risk of contracting flu by 20-30%. However, if you have conditions such as asthma or heart problems, you must consult with your doctor before heading out to exercise in the cold.

Why do more people get sick in winter?

  1. Some viruses may survive and reproduce easier in cold, dry air.
  2. We tend to spend more time indoors in enclosed environments. Viruses spread more easily in closed quarters.

Due to these two factors, there is an uptick in winter infections, but the truth is that colds and flu and can be caught any time of the year.

Real risks of cold temperatures on health

Frostbite:

Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. Immediately get out of the cold and slowly warm up the area. Call your doctor if numbness persists.

Hypothermia:

When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Thus exercising in cold, rainy weather increases the risk of hypothermia. Senior citizens and young children are the greatest risk. Symptoms include intense shivering, slurred speech, dizziness or loss of coordination and fatigue. Seek emergency help immediately if hypothermia is suspected.

Go Back

Similar Articles

Hacks To Stay Healthy Over The Festive Season

Read More

5 apps that help you sleep better at night

Read More

Health Benefits of Swimming by Sarah Ferguson

Read More

How to Know When It’s Time to Seek Therapy

Read More

How To Start Running – Advice from a Physiotherapist

Read More

10 tips to kickstart your healthy eating routine

Read More

The Importance of Staying Hydrated in Winter: Tips and Strategies for Cold-Weather Hydration

Read More

The Health Benefits of Lettuce

Read More