Seven winter health myths busted!

The most frequent problem is that these myths don’t just give you feelings of happiness, they can bring fat, stuff up your nose, and even increase your risk of cancer.  

By Udita Madan | Updated: Oct 24, 2015, 22:51 PM IST

Udita Madan

Winter season is just around the corner and while this season brings joy to many in the form of bonfires, barbecues and cosy comforters, for some, it also means lazy, dreary days.

Winters also bring with it bouts of colds and flu and other diseases as well, which is another issue of concern for people.

However, there are certain health myths that people carry around without giving a logical reason behind them.

Winter health myths range from one extreme to another. The most frequent problem is that these myths don’t just give you feelings of happiness, they can bring fat, stuff up your nose, and even increase your risk of cancer.

But why fret unnecessarily about things that don't really matter? So that everyone can focus on things that do matter and keep themselves and their family healthy through the season, we bring you a few myths relating to the winter season that people worry about. Take a look!

Myth #1: Most of your body heat is lost through the head

Reality: Most of your body heat doesn't escape through your head. If you go outside without gloves, you'll lose a disproportionate amount of heat through your hands.

Myth #2: Women gain up to 5 kg weight in Winters

Reality: Putting on weight in winters is easy, courtesy comfort foods and cosy blankets. However, the average woman only gains only half or 1 kg over the winter. Weight gain during the six-week Winter season accounts for 51% of annual weight gain.

Myth #3: Sunscreens aren't needed in Winters

Reality: No bathing suits, doesn’t mean bye-bye sunscreen. The Earth's surface is closer to the sun during the winter months and we are in fact, exposed to more harmful rays without even realizing it. That’s not all, snow and ice can both reflect up to 80% of harmful UV rays so that they can hit the skin twice.

Myth #4: Cold air can make you ill

Reality: This is the most commonly believed myth of all. Lower temperatures alone aren’t powerful enough to make you sick. In fact, the exact opposite is true. When you go out into the cold, infection-fighting cells actually increase in your body. It's your body's way of combating the stress of freezing temperature.

Myth #5: Allergies give winters a miss

Reality: If you thought that low temperatures kill allergies, think again. These allergies might be the real source behind your stuffy nose and scratchy throat. The indoor variety can actually be worse in the winter. This is because pets spend much time indoors, closed windows seal in poor air quality and many kinds of moulds flourish in the winter.

Myth #6: Alcohol keeps you warm

Reality: Sure after drinking alcohol, you feel a bit toasty on the inside, but that's only because it causes your blood to rush toward your skin and away from your internal organs. That means your core body temperature actually drops after consuming alcohol. In fact, alcohol actually impairs your body's ability to shiver and create extra heat.

Myth #7: Working out in the cold is a bad idea

Reality: Get ready to come out from under your blanket and run into the cold outdoors. Cold temperatures provide faster race times allowing quicker paces to burn more calories in less time. In addition to that, your endorphin levels will be spiked by this harder, faster workout, which are already increased just by you being outside. So get started and sweat it out in the cold!

Happy winter!