Health Problems That Are More Common in the Fall and Winter
Winter brings a number of seasonal health risks, mainly related to the physical challenges of ice, snow, and cold. Potential health problems that exist in any season of the year are likely seen in greater measure when the weather turns cold. Some of those issues are because people tend to stay indoors when winter arrives, make it more likely for them to spread disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 that more deaths occur in the winter than in the summer. The averages of daily deaths in December, January, and February are 8,344, 8,478, and 8,351, respectively; while the averages in June, July, and August are 7,298, 7,157, and 7,158, respectively.
There are a number of ways to protect yourself from health problems associated with the cold weather but it goes beyond bundling up and wearing a hat, except in extreme conditions where frostbite and hypothermia 2 are threats.The old wives' tales that you will get sick if you don't wear a coat and it is cold outside or that most of the heat exits through your head are not true. It is also false that you should avoid exercising when the weather is cold. Exercise is an important part of maintaining your health and is a good way to get beyond some of the problems of overindulging during the holidays.
Since illnesses are more likely to occur in the winter 3, the best thing you can do is avoid situations where people could spread the illness to you. This could include avoiding crowds and sick people, along with washing your hands regularly. It is also important to engage your common sense, such as being cautious when walking on icy or snowy surfaces and not over-doing it when you shovel snow.