With cold season just around the corner its time to take a look at some of the common myths surrounding this winter affliction and see which ones are nothing to sneeze at.
Stress Increases Your Chances of Catching a Cold
While not proven fact, studies have shown that people who are under chronic stress are more likely to develop complications and worsened conditions because their immune system is already weakened. This is not good news for moms because lets face it, being a mom is stressful, in fact so is being a dad or even a child for that matter. So slow down, especially during the holidays, and take care of yourself physically and mentally. Make sure to not over schedule your kids as they need a down time too.
Going Outside with Wet Hair in the Winter Will Give You a Cold
How our mothers would love if this were true. My mother alone must have told me a hundred times not to go outside in the cold with wet hair because, Bonnie you will catch your death of cold. I can still hear her say it, especially the times I’ve caught myself telling my daughter that exact line. But this is not true. While you might get a chill, or feel cold, there is no correlation between going outside with wet hair or clothes and catching a cold. This myth most likely started because of the higher amount of cold cases reported in the winter.
Flying Increases Your Risk of Catching a Cold
This is in fact true. When you fly you are exposed to a concentrated group of people in an enclosed space and there is a good chance that at least one of the people on the plane has a cold. So, consequently when you fly your chances of coming into contact with the cold virus is heightened. Guess I don't look so odd for wiping down my seat, as well as my families seats with antibacterial wipes when we get on a plane.
Sweat Out a Cold
It may feel good to wrap yourself in multiple blankets and turn up the heat when you have a cold but the fact is, a cold is caused by cold viruses and there for it has to run its course through the body. Simply “sweating it out” has no merit for shortening the duration of a cold, but snuggleing into a nest of blankets is gaurenteed to mentally make you feel better.
Feed a Cold
Most people lose their appetite to some extent when they are not feeling well which is where this myth probably came from. There is no reason to over eat if you are not hungry when you are sick. The most important thing to do when you have a cold is to drink liquids, agaion I can hear my mom telling me to drink liquids Bonnie, and keep up with good nutrition.
Take a Hot Shower
Again, this probably arises from the idea that we can somehow sweat out a cold. Taking a hot shower won’t shorten the duration, or cure a cold but the steam does loosen clogged nasal cavities and moistens the mucus membrane helping with congestion and easing some symptoms, at least temporarily. Another plus to taking a hot shower is if you live in a dry climate the humidity the shower creates will feel good on a dry, red nose.
Chicken Soup Cures the Cold
Mom’s and grandmothers across the globe have been touting the curative properties of chicken soup and now they have been vindicated. It turns out that chicken soup has an anti inflammatory effect which helps keep mucus in the nose moving. The cold virus sets up camp in the nose so the anti inflammatory properties help to move the virus along actually shortening the duration and severity of the cold.
So now when you tell your child not to go outside with wet hair you can smile knowing that your mom probably knew the truth when she told you that too.