My Mom would always say, “don’t catch cold, you’ll get sick!” Sorry Mom, it isn’t true. Cold weather or cold temperatures have nothing to do with catching a cold or the flu! I was heartened to read a recent article in the New York Times entitled, “Repeat After Me: Cold Does Not Increase Odds of Catching Cold” share new research on this topic.
You must be exposed to a bacteria or virus to get sick. Cold temperatures may make you uncomfortable, miserable, and even shiver but it won’t make you sick.
People’s feelings about colds and the flu become entrenched in their minds and it becomes impossible to change their belief. Even when you tell them about research that shows that being exposed to the cold stimulates the immune system. You can argue, show research studies and formal papers and it seems the harder you try, the more they dig in!
So, then you might say, well why are there more colds during the winter months? Great question! Here are a couple of reasons:
Viruses are also seasonal. Some are more likely to get you in the winter than the summer. Our “winter behavior” might be to blame. When it is cold, people tend to congregate inside making it easier for germs and viruses to be spread from person to person. We cough and sneeze on each other or touch inanimate objects that have just been touched by someone who might be ill and then we scratch our nose. You get the picture!
So, what should you do? Be smart and remember some of those other things that your Mom said. Wash your hands often, don’t touch your face and nasal area, cough into your elbow rather than your hand, avoid sick people if possible, get plenty of rest, eat well and exercise. Your Mom was right about these!