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How True are These 6 Myths About Our Health and Immunity?

October 12, 2020

How True are These 6 Myths About Our Health and Immunity?

The era of social media has basically solved our problems with connectivity and long-distance socializing. However, despite easy access to the internet via smartphone, people are still prone to believing anything they read online such as several myths about our health and immunity.

It's all good until some actually believe these myths are real and try them out for themselves and end up worse than they started. You don't want to be caught with a weak immune system these days, so you better know which are facts and which are just what people used to believe in the past.

To help with that, we decided to create a list of the 6 most popular myths about health and immunity.

1. Being out in icy weather makes you unwell
While shivering during the winter months may make you have a runny nose, it doesn't mean you're actually having immune complications. Shivering and feeling hot is simply the body's response to the icy environment, and it does so by burning fat to keep you warm. The same could be said about getting caught outside during a storm.

The fact is that fevers generally happen when you get an immune complication or when a foreign body manages to enter your system. It could happen when you're out during winter or on a strong, rainy day, but simply shivering or being drenched won't translate to having a fever.

When you do feel unwell during winter days, it's most likely because more people stay indoors. The more people you're with, the higher are the chances of acquiring immune complications - summer or winter.

However, we won't completely dismiss the myth as completely wrong. The rain can indeed provide a medium for organisms to enter your body, especially if they enter through your mouth or nose.

2. If you have seasonal discomfort, your immune system needs help
This one's actually a poorly done myth. Seasonal discomfort happens because your immune system overreacts to a specific substance in the air, water, or in the food you eat. Moreover, having seasonal discomfort doesn't mean you're "sick." Just like with the first myth, it takes a foreign body for you to feel feverish or develop a sneezing fit. Microbe or no microbe, seasonal discomfort will happen.

To help prevent this, you can always supplement, or you can simply just be more vigilant with regards to what makes your body overreact in the first place.

3. Washing hands kills harmful organisms
This is a half-truth. While certain microbes are indeed killed by soap, many of those that do cause the common fever and the sniffles aren't actually alive, to begin with. What soap and water do is make the organisms adhere to the soap, so you can literally wash them away with water.

4. Using hand-sanitizer works just as well as hand washing
Hand sanitizers have alcohol, so they do work as a disinfectant for our hands. However, hand sanitizers won't work as well if your hands are covered in dirt, oil, or anything that prevents sanitizers from covering the surface of your hands.

To make the most out of your hand sanitizers, make sure you at least wipe your hands clean and dry.

5. Chicken soup is a cure-all
Who doesn't like a hot bowl of chicken soup when you're not feeling all too well? The warmth feels like a hug, and the broth and taste of the entire soup coats your tasteless tongue and makes you appreciate living with someone who can cook.

As amazing is that feeling of warmth and brothiness, chicken soup is more for the soul than for our immunity.

However, we will say that eating homemade chicken soup does let you have important nutrients the body will need to boost your immune system and make it function better. Not to mention the warmth of the soup can also help relieve some symptoms of the sneezing fits or fever, such as clearing clogged sinuses or making a sore throat more bearable.

6. Exercising can make you prone to immune challenges
Depending on how hard you exercise, this myth can sometimes be true, but there are some explanations.

First, most people who say they get immune challenges after working out inside the gym likely just caught a microbe or two from one of the other members who were already unwell, to begin with. Catching someone's symptoms is not unheard of inside the train, office, or a household, so a gym's not an exception.

The other explanation is when we do tough exercise routines, the body's immune system temporarily increases immune surveillance, or when the immune system becomes more active in smoking out harmful organisms inside the body. This may cause you to feel a bit unwell shortly after exercising.

The good news is exercise is good for your immune system in the long term. If you want to sweat it out inside the gym without catching someone else's microbes, be sure to wipe the tools with alcohol before using.

To summarize…
The age of smartphones means we have easy access to all sorts of information at the touch of our fingertips. However, it's imperative that we also vet whatever text, audio, or video we consume, especially with our immune system.

Now more than ever, knowing exactly what you need to do to strengthen your immune system is just super important, and it helps to double-check anything that tells you what to do for your health. After all, you're not just protecting yourself, but also others around you.

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