Here’s Why We Get More Sick During the Winter and How to Stay Healthy

The winter season is here, and with it comes the cold, dry air and chilly winds that can leave many individuals feeling under the weather. As the temperature drops, so too does our immune system, making us more susceptible to illnesses. Why do we get more sick during the winter, and how can we stay healthy? Genesis Medical Group is here to explain why. 

The Role of Cold Weather in Weakening Our Immune System:

Cold weather can affect our immune system in a variety of ways. When we’re exposed to colder temperatures, the blood vessels in our nose and throat constrict, reducing blood flow and making it more difficult to fight off infections. Additionally, the dry air that typically accompanies cold weather can lead to dehydration, which can weaken our body’s defenses against illness. On top of this, the winter months are notorious for the flu and cold viruses, which can spread more easily when people are spending more time indoors.

The Importance of Vitamin D:

Many people are aware of the importance of Vitamin C when it comes to immune health, but fewer are aware of the critical role that Vitamin D plays. The primary source of Vitamin D is sunlight, which is in short supply during the winter months. Vitamin D helps to regulate our innate immune response, which plays a key role in defending against infections. Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to a higher risk of respiratory infections.

Tips for Staying Healthy During the Winter Months:

Despite the challenges presented by cold weather, there are steps that we can take to stay healthy during the winter months. One of the most important steps is to stay hydrated, which can help to keep our mucous membranes moist and protect against infection. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help to strengthen the immune system. Getting enough rest and exercise are also key factors in maintaining a healthy immune system.

The Importance of Hand-Washing:

One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness is through regular hand-washing. Many viruses can survive on surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, and keyboards for several hours or even days. By washing our hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, we can prevent the spread of these germs.

When to Seek Medical Attention:

Despite our best efforts, sometimes illness can still strike. It’s important to pay attention to our bodies and seek medical attention if we are experiencing severe or persistent symptoms. Especially during the winter months, it’s important not to ignore symptoms such as fever, coughing, or trouble breathing, as they can be signs of more serious illness such as pneumonia.

The winter months can be a challenging time for our immune system, but by taking steps to stay healthy, we can help to reduce our risk of illness. By staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, getting enough rest and exercise, washing our hands frequently, and seeking medical attention when necessary, we can help to keep ourselves and our communities healthy and thriving.

When you or a loved one are seeking health issues during the cold winter months, schedule your appointment today at Genesis Medical Group, we have several locations all across the Greater Houston Area that makes it easy for you to get the care you need, closer to home. Schedule today.