Flu season can have everyone on edge, especially when a harsh strain is on the loose. Flu, however, is only one of the many illnesses that spreads rapidly during this time. School and work absences increase, and people suddenly start desperately clinging to their hand sanitizer. Even going to the doctor for treatment can expose you to a different ailment. When spring arrives everyone breathes a sigh of relief that the season of sickness is drawing to a close. However, if cold air does not make you sick, then why does the warm weather change bring better levels of community health?
One major difference between the seasons is how much time is spent indoors with large amounts of people. The holiday season hits right after flu season begins. Celebrations often bring large groups of people together in close quarters. They are sharing food and drinks and staying for a while socializing with relatives. If one of these people has been exposed to an illness, everyone included may fall ill. Flu season also falls during the majority of the school year, easily exposing large amounts of children. P.E. classes and recess may resort to indoor activities due to inclement weather, allowing for less time to spread out away from other kids. Spring brings many outdoor recreational activities, reducing these risk factors immensely.
Time seems to pass slowly when you are stuck indoors for many weeks during cold and snowy weather. Even if you manage to get outside, the sky may be dreary and overcast. This eliminates a large amount of vitamin D from your body. You need sun exposure for your body to make proper amounts of vitamin D. Supplements can help, but the real thing is much more efficient at building your immune system. Even a few minutes outdoors during peak hours of the afternoon can help. The immune system suffers greatly without Vitamin D.
Depression and anxiety sufferers are also more susceptible to symptoms when Vitamin D is absent from their routine. The stress from the worsening of these ailments can also lower the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to physical illnesses. Many people use a UVB lamp that mimics the sun rays to help alleviate discomfort.
High Spirits and Exercise
Many people simply seem to be in a better mood once the birds start chirping and the sun starts shining. Attitude goes a long way in protecting your body from illness. Laughter, especially, causes the body to respond in many positive ways, physically. Studies have shown that people’s bodies are able to slow down even major illnesses when they have positive emotions. This, of course, is often easier said than done once illness sets in or you are staring at the wall on the tenth day of being snowed in. Dreary winter skies and increased time indoors, make many people less cheery. Make it a point to watch a funny show or have a light conversation with friends and family during the winter months. Exercise also increases the immune system and improves attitude. Be sure to continue regular workout routines.
The improvement in health during the warmer months has little to do with our bodies being physically cold. It has to do with the way our lives change during the winter months. Of course, the flu natural presents itself during this time, making it harder to avoid. Take some time to go outside, exercise, and invest in some supplements.