From the cold to the flu- we all do our best to avoid winter illnesses. Being cautious and taking measures to avoid these illnesses is always a good practice, but are some of the common steps we take unnecessary? Let’s sort out fact from fiction with these 5 winter health facts!
You don’t get sick because it is cold
The cold itself is not the reason for illness. How soon the temperature changes also has little effect on the spread of illness. Therefore, habits your mother warned you against such as sleeping with wet hair won’t bring on an illness.
In the colder months, we spend more time indoors and in close quarters with others and their viruses. This is what causes you to be under the weather.
You can’t get the flu from the flu shot
There is no virus in the injection, so it won’t give you the flu. The nasal spray vaccine may cause mild flu symptoms, however. Although receiving the flu shot does not guarantee that you won’t get the flu, it will protect you from the most common strains of flu. Your symptoms won’t be as severe if you do get sick also.
You lose little heat through your head
Any uncovered body part is going to lose heat, and you only lose about 10% from your head. Wearing a hat in the cold is always a good idea, but a hat alone is not enough to protect you from the elements. Be sure to appropriately clothe your entire body when out in the elements.
Green mucus is not a sign of a bacterial infection
People often think when they cough up green mucus that they have an infection. This actually means that whatever illness you have is coming to an end, however.
Yellow mucus indicates that your body is still fighting whatever is making you sick. Clear mucus is often present at the beginning stages of illness.
Shoveling snow increases your risk of heart attack
Although it sounds crazy, this is true! Thankfully, we don’t have to shovel snow very often around here, but this is how it happens: cold constricts your arteries, increasing the demands on your heart. Shoveling then adds to that demand. Shoveling is more stressful on the heart than most winter sports! In a matter of minutes, your heart rate reaches a dangerous point.
If you are healthy and active, you should not be concerned. Many don’t know they have health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, however, so it is best to exercise caution if you need to shovel snow by using a small shovel and taking breaks.
If you are 60 or older, discuss your winter activities with your doctor.
Has a winter health issue got you down? Reach out to our CCMH Physician Referral Line to find an appointment today!
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