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Guide to staying healthy


Cold weather itself has not been proven to cause colds

Winter colds are as much a part of the season as Christmas and New Year. Your mother will tell you that not dressing warmly enough will result in you catching cold... but the plunging temperatures aren't (entirely) to blame.

"Although cold weather itself has not been proven to cause colds, it can increase the risk of catching one because people huddle together indoors increasing person to person contact which readily spreads nasty viruses." Says Dr Anuradha Arasu, a GP with a specialist interest in complementary and lifestyle medicine, cancer and sexual health.

"In winter people do less exercise", he continues, "but they also eat less healthily, and a poor diet and a lack of exercise contributes to a weakened immune system.

"In addition the weather probably takes a toll on our moods and stress produces the hormone cortisol which weakens the white blood cells' ability to fight viruses."

Colds and flu viruses are passed on by bodily contact or by handling something with the virus on it and then transferring it by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. That's why it's so important to wash your hands!

You can also catch cold from "respiratory droplets" from a person coughing and sneezing. Healthhype estimate that a sneeze can reach 95mph! Airborne particles flying through the air on a packed train can quite easily find their way into your eyes, nose and mouth to infect you. Yuck!

Worst of all you can give someone flu before you even know you have it and up to a week after your symptoms disappear.


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