There are many theories about why we get the common cold. Most of us believe that exposure to cold, damp weather brings a cold on. This theory dates all the way back to 16th century England, however it wasn’t put to the test until recently.
Here’s how the study went:
Group 1: Test subjects took hot showers, then had to stand in a cold draft for 2 hours, then go to bed with wet socks on. They were notexposed to a cold virus, and none of them got sick with a cold.
Group 2: These subjects were exposed to a cold virus, and then did the same hot shower-stand-in-a-cold-draft regimen as group 1.
Group 3: This group was also exposed to a cold virus, but allowed to stay warm and dry.
Guess what? The subjects who got cold and wet had fewer colds (about 66% fewer) than the subjects who stayed warm and dry!
What does this mean? Well it isn’t the end-all be-all study, but it provides a hint that maybe we’re wrong to assume that being cold and wet will automatically make you sick…
Just because you’ve been outside in cold, damp weather doesn’t mean you're going to catch a bug.
But, like many other things in life, there are exceptions to this. If you’re stressed out, not sleeping well, living off of processed junk food, etc, etc. then getting cold and wet may be the proverbial ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ – and you do get sick.
The point is, though that cold/damp weather has no direct effect on causing illness in your body. There’s nothing inherent in these conditions that causes illness in the body. And while there are multiple reasons people do get sick, you can be certain that lack of sleep and stress are far greater causes of catching a bug than being out in the cold, damp weather.
Coming up: Part 2 -what to do once you actually get sick