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Experts: Getting Outside During The Winter Could Help You Fight The Flu

Sneeze - (file / credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Sneeze – (file / credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Many Americans have spent their time during this bitter blast fighting the flu.

Twenty-five states have reported widespread flu activity including New York and Connecticut.

While the arctic temperatures may convince you to curl up inside, as CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes heading out into the chill may do a body good.

When temperatures drop people tend to stay cooped up indoors. They may be avoiding the winter weather but they could also be inviting viruses like the flu.

“As cold as it gets I don’t want to go outside but you gotta get that fresh air,” Melinda Sandoval said.

Health experts said that hibernating inside actually makes it easier to catch a bug from people coughing or sneezing nearby.

“It’s just nice to get fresh air at least on a daily basis,” Clinic Coordinator Penny Knox explained, “It opens up and expands your lungs and the dry heat is so drying to your skin. Drying all the time.”

There are other common sense precautions that can help you to avoid getting or spreading the flu.

The CDC recommends that most people get a flu shot and that they regularly wash their hands with soap and water, clean contaminated surfaces, and stay home if they get sick.

“I would say being active and just watching what I eat, just like fruits and veggies and getting the vitamins and minerals it really boosts and helps,” Michael Holdsworth said.

If you do head outside experts suggest doing so in short intervals and to avoid being too active.

Doctors said that it is okay to exercise but doing so can irritate airways and trigger asthma in susceptible people.

While many people believe that it is possible to catch a cold by being outside for too long in chilly weather doctors said that that is a myth.

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