Myth #1 – Cold air can make you sick
Despite being called the common ‘cold’ lower temperatures alone won’t make you sick. Germs make you sick, not the cold weather itself. Cells that fight infection within body actually increase if you go out into the cold as it’s your body’s way of combatting stress of freezing temps. While we don’t recommend donning your shorts and tee-shirts in February, the idea that exposure to cold air alone will give you a cold is not true.
Myth #2 – You shouldn’t exercise in the cold
You may already be unmotivated to lace up your running shoes and head out into the cold, but if you’re worried that chilly-weather exercise is bad for your health, don’t be. It’s fine to exercise in the cold, so long as you warm up correctly first. That may mean walking a bit before starting on a vigorous run or completing a number of stretches before a workout. Either way, get ready to crawl out from under your blanket and get moving into the great and yes, cold outdoors.
Myth #3 – Allergies go away in the winter
Allergies could potentially be the real source behind your stuffy nose and tickly throat this season. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, 1 in 5 people suffer from indoor/outdoor allergies and the indoor variety can be particularly worse in the winter due to pets spending more time indoors, windows being kept closed, reducing air quality and many moulds thrive in the winter months. If your symptoms last longer than 10 days or ease up after taking an antihistamine, it may be worthwhile asking your doctor to refer you to an allergist.
Myth #4 – Lack of sunlight causes winter depression
Grey, dreary skies. Holiday stress. Bitter cold weather. It seems natural to only assume that depression hits an all-time high in the winter months. Although dark days certainly don’t help, there are many other factors besides seasonal affective disorder that can contribute to winter depression. Busy schedules, family stress and worries about money are more likely to trigger the blues than true SAD.
Myth #5 – Drinking alcohol warms you up
Yes, alcohol makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside but that’s because it causes your blood to rush toward your rosy-red skin and away from your internal organs meaning your core body temperature actually drops post-sip. Also, alcohol actually impairs your body’s ability to shiver and create heat and therefore we are often left feeling extremely cold when we stop drinking the beverages.
Myth #6 – The idea that eating chicken soup can kill a cold
Your mum or grandmother may have raised you to believe that there’s something magical about chicken soup when it comes to treating a cold or flu. However, there is no scientific research to prove this and is most likely just an easy way to get some fluids into your body and to keep your hunger at bay.
Myth #7 – You lose most of the heat from your body through your head, so you need to wear a hat
We’ve all heard this one and perhaps you may panic if you accidently leave the house without your hat, stressing that you will lose considerable amounts of warmth from your body. While it’s true that you will lose heat from ANY part of your body that is exposed to the elements and not covered with clothing but forgetting a hat is really not that big of a deal (unless it’s purely for fashion purposes).
Myth #8 – We need more sleep in the winter
Admit it – when winter hits and the sun seems to all but disappear, the thought of hibernation sounds appealing doesn’t it? But that sleepy feeling you may get in the winter does not mean you should always let yourself snooze longer. While it’s natural to want to be cosier and spend more time wrapped up under the duvet, we don’t technically need more sleep (sorry to disappoint).
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