Can the Weather Affect How You Feel?

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript

The weather affects more than your plans for the day and the clothes you throw on. Lots of people with arthritis find cold or damp conditions make their joints ache or stiffen.

Experts don't agree on why that may happen. Some doctors think that getting less activity during bad weather plays a role. Some of them say changes in barometric pressure may expand and contract tendons, muscles, and bones.

Some other links between the weather and how you feel are more roundabout. For example, chilly weather itself won't give you a cold, but it could make you more likely to catch one. The lack of humidity could dry out your nose, lowering your body's defenses against cold viruses. And you may spend more time huddled up indoors with other people, which could allow germs to spread more easily.

There's also a connection between warm weather and muscle and joint injuries. But one thing doesn't cause the other. Some people simply exercise less during the winter months, then charge full-speed ahead back into their workout routine once it gets warm out. They get injured because they didn't ease back into exercise.

Finally, some kinds of weather may affect mental health. One form of depression usually strikes in the fall and sticks around through winter. It's called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. And it may be partly due to getting less sunlight.