How to stay healthy during flu season? Health tips for winter
Winter is the coldest season of the year, when you need to take proper care of your health
In India, winters are short, feature severe cold and harsh weather conditions. The bitter cold of the season means higher incidence of colds, coughs and fever in people of different age groups. Winter across India presents foggy mornings, lazy afternoons and relaxed evenings.
Significantly, the winter life in India coincides with celebration of host of festivals (Dasara, Diwali and Christmas), the vibrant and colour-lit life. Winter brings with it nature’s bounty witnessed as the arrival of new crop of paddy and an abundance of vegetables and fruits flooding the markets.
FLU AND ITS PREVENTION
Not all is quite exquisite with winter, as it leaves in its trail many health challenges. Importantly, the occurrence of flu during the winter season which turns into an epidemic calls for adopting preventive measures.
Cold and flu can be prevented by following a few tips. All our efforts should be focused on boosting our immune system by adopting a healthy lifestyle which includes, wearing woolen clothes, washing hands with soap, keeping our feet warm, having hot soups and managing stress by doing light exercises.
In winter, managing body’s dryness is a major challenge which means to adopt custom treatments under the supervision of an experienced cosmetologist or skin specialist. Using humidifiers/room heaters and moisturizers helps in fighting against infections and skin dryness.
HEALTH TIPS FOR WINTER
Here are a few tips for keeping healthy and enjoy this winter.
As the days are shorter and the nights longer in winter, we tend to sleep more than usual. Described by some as ‘hibernation’ it is good to extend your sleep by one to two hours than usual. However, some of the incidental factors need to be taken care viz. having daily exercise, avoiding exercise just before going to bed, keeping the lights off in the bedroom, maintaining the temperature and peaceful environment.
Proper diet helps to ward off disease during winter. Diet brings the potential benefit to enhance immunity. Significantly, milk and dairy products like cheese and yoghurt which are rich in Protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin B 12 may serve as an ideal food during winter. All these nutrients help in boosting the immune system. The calcium content in milk promotes bone growth and strength. However, semi-skimmed or skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurt should be preferred over full fat milk products.
EATING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The preferred diet for winter is low-fat and low-carbohydrate food. It should be five portions of fruits and vegetables. Those who have a craving for sweets can have dates and raisins. Boiled carrots, parsnips and turnips can be had as a soup. This helps to keep your body properly hydrated and avoid chapping.
The more the stress, the more will be your susceptibility to cold, cough and fever. By spending constructive time at work, meeting friends and guests, having a hobby (painting, music, reading, swimming and others), and going on long trips may ease the stress. All these help you to emotionally recuperate and restore your emotional balance.
EXERCISE AND FITNESS
Regular exercise not only helps you to stay fit, but also boosts your physical endurance and immunity. Importantly, a daily exercise regime helps middle aged men and women to control weight, relieve stress and make the immune system stronger. It burns your excess calories, makes you hungry and revitalizes your body’s metabolism.
Smoking weakens the immune system, and makes you greatly susceptible to cold and cough during winter. To stay healthy in winter, it is always better to avoid smoking to the maximum extent possible.
HYGIENE AND WINTER WEAR
Hand hygiene is very important for a healthy life. By washing hands regularly, you can keep the bacterium and viruses off your hands, mouth and eyes. If you don’t have soap and water, it is always better to use a hand sanitizer for complete hand hygiene.
A variety of winter wear is available for children, men and women. Increasingly made of woollen, and available in vibrant colours, winter wear keeps you warm and protects your body from vagaries of the weather. Winter wear usually has two to three layers and includes sweaters, stockings, scarves and sweatshirts.
AVOID SUGARY FOODS
Sugary foods include cookies, cakes and sweets, rice, high fat yoghurt, white bread, white pasta, rice and fruit juices. Consumption of sugary foods needs to be reduced to protect and strengthen the immune system.