Bundle Up Or You'll Catch A Cold

Dec 30, 2009
by: kberg

   We have all heard the phrase, "Bundle up or you'll catch a cold," but how much of this is true.  Colds always seem to increase during the winter seasons, but is it really true that being cold increases cold symptoms?  Some information leads to the conclusion that the increase in symptoms are due to the amount of people staying indoors. 

When the population stays indoors (in a closed air system) and in the presence of others for an extended period, the rate of infection increases.  This is because at any given time, there are a few individuals infected with one of the many reoccurring (endemic) diseases.  If those people had only limited contact with others, they might spread their colds or they might not.  When they stay inside with everyone else, though, they successfully infect many more people. 

In contrast, an article from CNN news describes a study by British researchers that found that catching colds does relate to being cold.  The study involved one group sitting with their feet immersed in ice water for 20 minutes, while the control group sat with their feet in an empty bucket.  In the next five days, 30 percent of the chilled group caught a cold while only 9 percent of the control group did.  Professor Eccles explains that

"When colds are circulating in the community many people are mildly infected but show no symptoms," he said, according to the UK's Press Association.

"If they become chilled this causes a pronounced constriction of the blood vessels in the nose and shuts off the warm blood that supplies the white cells that fight infection.

"The reduced defences in the nose allow the virus to get stronger and common cold symptoms develop.

"Although the chilled subject believes they have `caught a cold' what has in fact happened is that the dormant infection has taken hold."

    -"Wrap Up Advice to Stop Colds"

This explains why the common cold is more frequent in the winter season.  Professor Eccles also explains that a cold nose can be a factor in more frequent colds. 

"When the cold weather comes we wrap ourselves up in winter coats to keep warm but our nose is directly exposed to the cold air.

"Cooling of the nose slows down clearance of viruses from the nose and slows down the white cells that fight infection.

    -"Wrap Up Advice to Stop Colds"



I agree it gets pretty cold

Submitted by fhayes on Wed, 2010-01-20 13:18.

I agree it gets pretty cold outside and you have to bundle up if you don`t want to get sick. I personally hate the cold and can`t wait for the summer to come back so I can be warm again and not have to worrying about getting sick or being cold.

 Dear Kiersten:   I

Submitted by kmckown on Wed, 2010-01-20 23:19.

 Dear Kiersten:


I like your post "bundle up or you'll catch a cold" because it was very informative. I always thought that it was just a myth that a cold was caught from actually being cold. I am pretty sure I even saw on some crappy airplane news report saying that wasn't the cause. So I am glad you made this post and cleared things up from me. That part about the nose was especially interesting!