Categories: General Health

Tips to enjoy your winters to the fullest

We all know the winter season as the season of festivals, vacations, and tasty food. The winters are all about foggy mornings, lazy, and relaxed days. We tend to spend more time indoors with family members and friends.

But sometimes, we also refer to winters as the season of cold, flu, and other health issues. Cold weather can have more deteriorating impacts on health than we imagine.

How can winters affect our health?

Some health problems associated with winters are:

  • People having asthma can experience problems during winter. Cold temperature is one of the triggers for an asthma attack. Further, increased air pollution and pollens circulation during winters make it difficult for asthmatics to breathe.
  • Because of the low temperature, we spend more time indoors. It may cause restrict our physical activity. Lack of physical activities can make us more prone to obesity and sickness.
  • We gorge on our favorite dishes during winters. The holidays and festivals in winter may cause overeating. This overeating may lead to unwarranted weight gain, causing obesity. People with obesity are more prone to develop high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, type 2 diabetes, and digestive problems.
  • Cold air can also cause skin problems like dryness, rashes, irritation, or winter eczema.
  • Cold weather can also impact our cardiovascular system. There is an increased chance of blood clotting, angina, heart attack, and stroke during the winter season.
  • Some places in winter have extremely low temperatures. Being exposed to low temperatures for a very long period can cause hypothermia. If left untreated, hypothermia may lead to severe conditions.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may occur during winters when we restrict ourselves indoors, leading to less exposure to sunlight. Some of the symptoms are depression, hopelessness, fatigue, and social withdrawal.

How to take care of ourselves in winter?

Since the winter season is the coldest part of the year, we need to be more careful of the diseases and infections. By following some precautions during the winter season and with a disciplined lifestyle, we can have a healthy winter:

  • Cold and flu are more common in the winter season. Some preventive measures can protect us from getting cold and flu, such as wearing proper clothes, washing hands with soap, avoiding direct contact with an infected person, and taking flu shots.
  • The incidence of heart diseases also increases in winter. With some precautions, we can keep our heart healthy, like staying active, covering ourselves with proper warm clothes, not overexerting ourselves, regular health checks, and contacting the doctor immediately if necessary.
  • Joint pain also increases in the cold season. In winters, the muscles around joints tighten. It leads to increase pressure and pain in joints. Some preventive measures like wearing compression gloves and kneecaps, avoiding unnecessary strain on joints, using heat pads, and staying hydrated can keep your joints healthy during winter.
  • Skin problems are also common during the winter season. Skincare is a must in the winter season. It includes proper moisturizing, sunscreen protection, and maintaining hydration.
  • Cold weather can be a trigger for asthma symptoms. We can minimize asthma bouts with some precautions like some light exercises, staying warm, recognizing your trigger factors and avoiding them, proper medications, and avoiding medicines that flared asthma symptoms.
  • Eating a balanced diet boosts our immunity and keeps our body healthy. A balanced diet includes whole grains, eggs, meat, fish, legumes, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and vitamin C-rich food that helps in strengthening our immune system.
  • Proper hydration is a must in the winter season. In winter, water intake decreases due to low temperature, but drinking at least six to eight glasses of water is necessary for the proper functioning of the body system. Water removes toxins from our bodies and carries nutrients to our body cells. Water also helps in balancing body fluid.
  • Optimal sleep is necessary for maintaining good health. In winter, we like the feeling of coziness in blankets, but we also tend to oversleep. Oversleeping is bad for our health as it makes us lazy and not active. Proper sleep helps to keep our body’s immune system healthy.
  • Staying active is one of the most important steps necessary to keep you fit during the winter season. Any form of exercises such as yoga, aerobics, light cardio, or dancing will keep your body warm and protect you from many diseases related to a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Maintenance of good hygiene is necessary for winter. Proper washing hands, maintaining social distancing, properly maintaining guidelines issued by the government are good enough to protect us from various viral and bacterial infections.
  • During the winter season, we should closely monitor our health. A preventive health checkup is the best way to diagnose any disease.
  • Quit smoking and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Sunbath is good in the winter season. Vitamin D from sunlight is good for maintaining immunity and health.

Dr. Nidhin Mohan, Consultant – Internal MedicineMazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra, Bangalore.

Narayana Health

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