Fighting Off Sickness in Winter
By Jessica Tan, 2018 (posted 1-21-17)

    In January 2016, 11% of Americans caught the common cold and 3.9% caught the flu. Although it has been shown that cold weather and chances of getting sick have no correlation, winter still tends to increase the percentages of people with the cold or flu. According to a Dr. John Watson, a medical epidemiologist with the US CDC, may suggest that people’s behavior during the winter—such as congregating indoors in smaller spaces—may be the true cause. Whatever the cause may be, it is important to find ways to stay as healthy as possible this winter.

  1. Wash Your Hands. In the winter, people crowd together indoors. As a result, it is easy to spread germs through physical contact of sensitive areas of our body, such as the eyes, mouth, and nose. Washing your hands frequently will significantly decrease your chances of catching the cold.

  2. Stay Warm. Shivering, paired with the lower sunlight levels, has been shown to weaken the immune system, making us more likely to catch colds.

  3. Drink Plenty of Water. Drinking water is important because it helps the kidneys flush out toxins from the body. In addition, dehydration causes mucus to become drier and thicker, making it less able to defend against viruses and bacteria.

  4. Sleep. Sleeping less than the recommended eight hours per day makes the body more prone to infection and sickness. In addition, sleeping reduces stress and anxiety levels, making it easier to recover from sickness.

  5. Exercise. Moderate exercise can reduce your chances of getting sick by up to 27%. Exercise causes the body to produce extra natural killer (NK) cells to hunt viruses.

Courtesy of Google Images

Works Cited

"26 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter." TODAY, 15 Nov. 2014. Web. 03 Jan. 2017.

"Researchers Probe Why Colds Are More Likely in Winter – WebMD." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2017.

"Ten Ways to Avoid Colds and Flu This Winter." Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 27 Nov. 2001. Web. 03 Jan. 2017.

"U.S. Americans with Cold or Flu in December/January 2009-2016 | Survey." Statista. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Jan. 2017.