"Close the window, you will catch a cold?"
"Where's your coat, it's freezing out, youre going to get sick?"
I think most of us have heard something like this from our mum at some point or another. I still do !!! So lets clear this myth up; you do not catch a cold or the flu from being in cold weather; illnesses such as these are caused by viruses that we come in contact with. And there are just as many viruses around to come in contact with in the summer as there are in the winter.
In fact, cold symptoms are not really symptoms of the virus - the stuffy, runny nose, fever, fatigue etc. we feel are actually what happens when our immune system is working overtime to fight the virus. The healthier our immune system is, the easier it will find fighting the foreign virus. Which is why two people exposed to the same virus may not both 'get sick'. They both may feel that initial tell tale tickle in their throats, or start to sniffle, but while one may get a full blown cold, the other feels just fine the next day. And perhaps one never even notices any symptoms at all.
But why is that? It's not because one was wearing a warmer coat than the other. Most likely, it has to do with how efficient their immune systems are. If a speedy immune system response is triumphant in eliminating the virus, it's work is done, and a cold is avoided.
So it seems that along with practicing good hygiene for avoiding illness, we can also practice good immune building so that even if we are exposed, we get by without becoming sick.
And that's where we can maybe give our mums some credit. Colds are more prevalent in the colder months. That's where that assumption of being cold is what causes a cold comes from. But rather than our bodies actually being cold - it's that big star up in the sky that we can credit for being more well in the warmer months.
Research has shown that Vitamin D plays a key role in sustaining our immune system. If we are deficient in Vitamin D, we are more likely to find ourselves needing to take time off to heal ourselves from a virus. The sun has traditionally been our main source of Vitamin D. In the summer, we naturally soak up more sunshine and more Vitamin D. Unknowingly, we've been benefitting our immune system simply by enjoying the sunshine. In the winter, not only is there less sunshine, but we are more covered up, so less apt to benefit from what is available.
Luckily, supplements like Vitamin Code Raw D3 are available, and effective. Getting your Vitamin D levels tested and supplementing as needed to put your levels in the optimal range is a great proactive way to avoid spending time fighting a virus this winter. Most of us will find that our Vitamin D can use a boost - make sure you are supplementing with Vitamin D3 - cholecalciferol - and that you are taking an appropriate dose for your current levels.
Of course, spending time in the sun is a great way to raise your Vitamin d levels. There are a few apps available that will tell you the best time of day for sun exposure to benefit your Vitamin D levels. D VitaMeter and D Minder will help you track and monitor Vitamin D exposure for you based on height, weight, skin type and location. Both are free.
When you think about it, soaking up the sun feels so amazingly great, it makes sense that its good for our health too.
I hope that we can someday get to a point where all of us are seeking to stay well and keep our immune system high with good levels of vitamin D during the winter months - instead of resorting to flu shots and medications which we do not currently understand how they are truly effecting our bodies.
If everyone had the right levels of vitamin D - Hardly anyone would get sick - i think that would be a huge problem for our health care system with less visits to the doctors and pharmacies - but a huge benefit to us!