According to this year’s report from WalletHub, Pennsylvania is among the top 10 places to live in the US. But being there from December to March means getting used to extreme cold and all that comes with it: icy roads, blizzards that often come with electric outages and getting sick easily. So, let’s make sure you stay healthy and well this winter.
1. Common Reasons for Winter Sickness
We often associate winter with getting sick. While the weather itself is not responsible for making us sick, the effects of cold weather and our lifestyles during winter weaken our immune system.
During winter months, we tend to stay indoors more, and reduced sun exposure results in lower vitamin D levels. Many studies suggest that vitamin D plays an essential role in maintaining a strong immune system. When people are close to each other indoors, viruses spread more easily. Additionally, lower outside temperatures decrease immune response and breathing in cold air causes blood vessels in the upper respiratory tract to narrow down to conserve heat and therefore make it harder for the body to fight off germs as white blood cells cannot reach the mucous membrane.
2. How To Prevent Getting Sick This Winter
If we learned anything since COVID-19 started its relentless march across the globe, it’s the importance and power of washing our hands regularly. But, there are many other things you can do as well to avoid getting sick this winter.
Clean your HVAC regularly
besides ensuring you breathe in clean air, regular maintenance will also contribute to lowering your PPL electricity bill as your HVAC will work more efficiently. Your HVAC system is working hard during winter so make sure you don’t make its job even harder with clogged filters. Moreover, studies show that having a clean home benefits our mood and productivity.
Regular physical activity
Any activity that gets your heart pumping helps increase your body’s natural defense mechanisms, such as virus-killing cells.
Eat healthy foods
A mistake we often make is to go for the pills while forgetting that the food we eat can be our greatest cure. Don’t rely on pills for vitamins but make sure you eat a rainbow of colors, including dark and light green, red, and yellow veggies.
Many studies show the beneficial effects of regular and quality sleep because this is the time when the body regenerates itself. Don’t deprive it of this essential need as sleep deprivation literally translates to destroying your body’s self-healing superpower.
Eliminate poor habits
Drinking alcohol and smoking reduce our immune system’s ability to do its job properly.
3. Top Tips for Feeling Better and Get Back on Your Feet
If it’s too late and you already got sick, at least you can help yourself recover more quickly.
Drink plenty of tea, warm lemon water with honey and eat plenty of soup to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.
Allow your body to regroup so it can heal. Resting is of essence. When we get sick, it’s our body’s way of telling us it needs a break.
Soothe your aches
If you have a soar throat, try a saltwater gargle. If your nose is congested, try a humidifier and place a warm towel on your face with a few drops of essential oil such as Ravintsara. If your body’s in pain, try magnesium oil or add a few drops of rosemary essential oil into a base of almond oil and do a self-massage to boot circulation. Listen to your body and give it what it needs.
Get plenty of vitamins
Some studies suggest that vitamin C, zinc and Echinacea supplements may shorten the length of time you have symptoms.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself
Being sick makes us feel miserable. When our life gets off track, our bodies let us know we took a wrong turn. It always starts with a whisper in the form of minor ailments like a headache or a minor cold. If you don’t pay attention and tend to it, that’s when the lighting strikes. Think of it this way: being sick is just your body’s way of saying you’re way too awesome and you need to slow down so everyone else can catch up. So, make sure you listen to what your body’s telling you and that you are giving it everything it needs to function optimally – if you do that, you won’t have to worry about getting sick this winter.