Winters are the preferred season of many, but they also come with a set of Dos and Don’ts to keep illness away. The air during this time gets extremely dry and because of the lack of moisture in the air, our skin and lips also get affected. There are also a number of viruses that spread most during this season causing infections and flu. Coughing and sneezing are some of the most common issues of the cold spell, which is why basic hygiene should be our priority when the season is just setting in. This is the period when most people fall sick because of the change in the weather.
Here are some tips that will help you take care of your health during winter:
- Drink lots of fluids: Dehydration is one of the major problems in winter because we drink lesser water than usual. The lack of moisture in the air also reflects in our body, so stock up on the fluids to keep yourself from getting parched. Hot drinks like soups, warm milk or ginger tea are highly beneficial to the body.
- Sleep well: Make sure you use a warm quilt or blanket to keep away the chilly night air while you sleep. It also isn’t advisable to sleep for too long. Many people complain of pain in the back or neck in the morning during winters. Cold weather is seen to make aches worse, flare-up arthritis and affect joint fluid thickness, leading to such pain. Stretching in the morning and take a swim in a heated pool are good options to get relief.
- Eat healthy: Here are some foods that you should eat during winters:
- Fish – High in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and general immune system strength.
- Spinach – Freshly available in winter, full of zinc, irons and other nutrients.
- Citrus fruits – Full of Vitamin C, B and anti-oxidants.
- Eggs – High in protein, healthy cholesterol and full of vitamins.
- Chocolate – Especially dark chocolate to help against winter depression.
- Herbs and spices – Ginger, garlic, parsley, chamomile, pepper, etc. for digestion and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Vitamin supplements – If you have a Vitamin D deficiency.
- Naturally keep warm with exercise. Winters are lazy and we hardly feel like getting out from under the covers, but an extremely healthy way to keep warm in winters is exercising. A jog in the park, yoga, cycling or simply getting out of the house can make you feel much better. Deficiency of sunlight, and thus Vitamin D, can elevate stress levels so going out in the sun is beneficial and the fresh air can boost circulation.
While bidding adieu to sultry summers is something most people look up to, winters can also bring with itself flu, cold, dull and dark days. Boost your immunity by eating healthy and take care of your skin, sleep and stress this winter! For advice dietary advice and guidelines to brace the cold winter months consult Dr. Afsha Shaikh, top clinical Nutrition and Dietetics at Ask Apollo.