It’s that time of the year again where we pull out the puffy coats and hot cocoa. It may only be November, but by the weather you’d think Christmas was tomorrow. The clock has been pushed back and days are starting to feel like just a few short hours. What happened to the long hot days of summer? As we move further into winter, what can we do to stay healthy and prevent sickness?
“Don’t go outside without a coat on or you’ll get sick!” I’m sure we all have heard this before but how accurate is this statement really? Our bodies are incredible and lean on the idea of homeostasis, which is the ability of a system to maintain itself. The body’s core temperature remains constant even when the outer temperature of the body varies with what environment it is in. A healthy human being isn’t going to get sick just because they didn’t wear a coat outside to get the mail or shovel the driveway. The only time our temperature raises is when we get a fever, which is the body’s response to fighting off infections. So if our internal temperature stays fairly constant in winter, why does sickness increase during this time?
Effects of Winter
As winter approaches, people tend to stay indoors more often. So what’s the problem with that? When the population stays in doors, which is a closed air system, in the presence of others for an extended period it causes the rate of infection to increase. This is because people are often are infected with many reoccurring diseases. With limited contact, people can get away with not being infected by someone who has an infection. But when people stay indoors more in a closer environment, they can successful pass along the infection.
Germs in Your Home
Along with passing infections from person to person, staying indoors poses another issue. Like I mentioned above, indoors is considered a closed air system. In a closed air system, it is easy to keep infections lingering in places you would never think. Indoors are considered to be 5 times dirtier than outdoors from germs, mold, bacteria, and others that can’t escape the closed environment. Air filters, fridge filters, humidifier filters, and furnace filters are all great spots for germs and infections to hang out if not changed regularly.
Healthy Winter Tips
There are some basic things you can do to make sure you and your entire family stays healthy this winter:
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Hot water is best, and lather while singing your ABCs or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to make sure you get your hands totally clean.Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. It’s best to cough or sneeze into your arm rather than your hands.Manage your stress. Winter – and the holidays – can be a stressful time of year for anyone, so make sure you don’t get overwhelmed, and get plenty of sleep.Eat healthy and stay active. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins – particularly Vitamin D, which we usually get from the sun – and staying active. When it’s too cold for a walk outside, try taking the stairs at work or using a treadmill at home or the gym for an hour each day.Change your air filters. It sounds crazy, I know, but a new air or furnace filter with a MERV 11 or better rating will filter out dirt and dust like any other filter, but also will pick up mold spores, pet dander, germs, and bacteria that other filters miss. Changing your air filter will help keep everyone in your home healthier during the holidays.Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is key to taking care of yourself, even in the winter. Improve the quality of the water in your house by making sure you’re filtering out the minerals and chlorine that can give your water a bad taste or smell. Replacing your refrigerator water filter will give you healthier, better tasting water and ice, and extend the life of your fridge.
It’s probably been awhile since you’ve changed the filters in your house. In light of the quick approaching cold temperatures, DiscountFilters.com is giving you an extra $10 off when you buy both a refrigerator and furnace filter. Visit DiscountFilters.com and we’ll take $10 off your order with the purchase of both. Remember it is important to have a clean filter to prevent the spread of infection during the extreme winter months. If you don’t know what kind of filter you need, call us! We have experts available to assist at 888-407-5688.