You have probably heard most of these winter weather myths for most of your life, but the truth is, there really isn’t much science to back them up.
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If you’re wondering if the advice of these common winter wellness myths is true, let me help you separate fact from fiction this season.
You CAN safely ignore these five winter wellness myths this year.
Cold Weather Gives You a Cold
I’m sure you’ve heard your grandmother warn you about catching pneumonia if you don’t dress warmly when you head out into the cold winter air. While you’ll probably be uncomfortable, the winter air won’t make you sick – germs will.
To truly protect yourself from the winter sniffles, make sure you take care of yourself by washing your hands frequently, eating a balanced diet, and getting plenty of sleep.
Turkey Makes You Sleepy
This common holiday myth says that the chemical tryptophan, which is found in turkey, makes you sleepy, which explains why everyone is ready for a nap following a holiday meal.
While part of this myth is true – you will find tryptophan in turkey, there’s not enough of the amino acid to make any real impact on your body. In fact, tryptophan is found in a variety of everyday foods, like cheddar cheese, and you don’t hear about cheese making you tired, do you?
Instead of attributing your sleepiness to the turkey, blame the entire meal, which is typically filled with carbs and an excess of calories, for your afternoon nap.
You Lose Heat Through Your Head
While it is true that you’ll lose body heat through your head if you don’t wear a hat outside in the cold winter air, you don’t lose an excess of body heat through your head alone. You lose body heat through any part of your body that is uncovered, and your head is often the only part of your body left bare when you step outside in the winter.
To ensure that your whole body stays warm, try to bare as little skin as possible this winter.
Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold
Although having a fever may make you lose your appetite, you should never deprive your body of needed calories, especially when you’re fighting off an illness.
Limiting your food consumption while sick may even hurt your immune system more than help it. In addition to eating a balanced diet, whether you have a fever or not, you should also be sure to drink plenty of fluids to help your body overcome its illness quickly.
You Don’t Need Sunscreen in the Winter
While the sun may not make an appearance every day of the winter season, it’s always there. And UV rays are continually shining, even on overcast days.
If you’re spending significant time outdoors in the winter, you need to be wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from those damaging rays.