6 minutes to read
Every winter it’s the same thing: runny nose, sore throat, that softness in the body… isn’t it? What if we told you that it is possible to avoid these types of symptoms or, at least, reduce their severity? And truth! With proper care in winter, it is possible to spend a much healthier season.
These cold season opportunistic diseases occur for a number of reasons, such as a drop in air humidity and temperatures in general. However, this scenario also has a lot to do with our immunity and that’s what we’re going to talk about.
So, come with us to find out why we get sick when the cold weather arrives, in addition to knowing some good ways to stay healthy in winter.
Why is it important to pay attention to health in winter?
In winter, it’s common for us to get sicker. This is mainly due to two factors: the drying of the air and the crowds, which become more intense due to the decrease in air circulation.
For example: when we are in a closed place, like a classroom, we close the windows in winter due to the cold. This causes pathogens (disease-causing agents, such as viruses or bacteria) to become “trapped” in that environment, contaminating people.
In addition, the drop in air humidity makes our mucous membranes (inner lining) of the nose drier. This causes the body’s natural protection against the entry of these pathogens to be compromised, making us more susceptible to getting sick.
What are the main health problems related to winter?
In winter, it is more common for problems like the following to appear:
- Sinusitis, among others.
The main symptoms of these problems are coryza (runny nose), dry cough or secretion, fever, malaise, sneezing and body aches.
In addition, it is important to note that other respiratory problems – such as Covid-19 – may also become more prevalent in winter. Everyone can affect us at any time of the year, but it’s important to be extra careful during this period!
What health care should you have at that time?
Now, the time has come for you to know the tips and tricks to take care of your health in the winter. Let’s go?
1. Take care of hydration
The first step to keep winter illnesses far away from your day to day is to stay hydrated. Our body needs water to carry out vital reactions and, of course, to keep immunity up to date.
2. Take care of your skin’s health
The arrival of winter is no excuse for neglecting your skin’s health. Keep using sunscreen — after all, the sun is still out there, even if it’s a little shy — and pay attention to hydration, with creams and lotions. At this time, it is normal for the skin to be a little more dry.
3. Ventilate the environments
Opening the windows in the cold can be very difficult, but it is necessary. If you are in a closed place, try to leave at least a few cracks open so that air can circulate and that disease-causing agents are not concentrated in the environment.
4. Have a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the pillars of strong immunity and able to fight any problem that comes ahead. Take care of your meals, making colorful and diverse dishes so that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to function well.
5. Practicing physical activities
Physical activities are also part of the tips for taking care of health in winter. Keeping the body moving is a great way to work immunity. And the best: you can choose the exercise you like the most!
6. Avoid crowds
Another important tip is to try to avoid agglomerations. It’s no wonder that social isolation was one of the main measures against Covid-19, is it? The fewer people in a location, the lower the chances of contamination with respiratory diseases.
7. Hydrate the nasal mucous membranes
Finally, a nice tip is to hydrate the nasal mucous membranes or wash them frequently. You can invest in homemade washing or inhalations with saline solution, which can also be done at home.
What is the importance of the vaccination schedule?
Another essential care, whether in winter or any other season of the year, is to keep vaccination up to date. How is your vaccination schedule going? Is everything up to date?
The importance of vaccines is in strengthening the immune system. And, to understand all its relevance, we need to understand a little bit about how it works.
The immune system is made up of cells that defend our body against invaders. They work from two schemes: initial recognition and immunological memory.
Recognition happens the first time our body is affected by a virus, bacteria or other disease-causing agent. This is the moment when we get sick and feel sick for a few days, while the immune system tries to figure out the best ways to attack this invader.
Immunological memory is activated the second time we come into contact with the same invading organism. Here, lymphocytes (cells that defend the body) already know what to do and act more quickly, making us sick for less time or not even expressing symptoms.
Vaccines work by making the cells do the initial recognition without us having to get sick. Cool, isn’t it? Therefore, keeping all of them up to date — including the flu, which is renewed every year with new versions of the virus — is essential to prevent illness and take care of health in winter and throughout the year.
Now that you know how to take care of your health in the winter, don’t waste time.
Start organizing yourself to follow these tips and check out, firsthand, all the advantages of implementing them in your daily life. Your well-being and that of your entire family will thank you!
Did you like the content? So how about sharing it on your social networks? Thus, more people can check out these tips and take better care of their health in the winter, avoiding getting sick. Do your part!
Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).