For decades, you have probably heard not to sit out in the cold for too long unless you want a cold. While cold weather itself cannot directly make you sick, viruses spread much faster in colder weather. Exposure to winter’s cold and dry air can have an impact on your immune system.
The cold may impact the immune system response, making it much more difficult for your body to fight off infections. In the winter, many lack the appropriate levels of Vitamin D because of the reduction in sun exposure. Vitamin D is important for supporting healthy immune systems. Talk to your doctor about supplements if you suspect you may have low Vitamin D levels.
Your blood vessels also narrow in colder temperatures. Breathing in cold or dry air means that the blood vessels in the lung’s upper respiratory tract narrow so that they can conserve heat. White blood vessels may have a harder time getting to the mucous membrane, fighting off illness bacteria or viruses less effectively.
If you want to keep your immune system in top shape during the winter, it is important to take extra steps to care for your body. Eating foods rich in vitamins, especially vitamin D, are one of the best ways to do so. Also, get plenty of rest. This varies from person to person, but the average adult needs about eight hours a night. Drink plenty of water. Water is an underrated tool in fighting off illness, but staying hydrated can do a lot for you.