Winter is here, and at present we are in the thick of it. The arrival of the cold season
heralds the onset of festivities such as Christmas and New Year. But, as we indulge in merry-making, let’s not forget to take adequate measures with respect to our wellness routine to respond to the changes the chill brings. The cold weather can make us quite inactive, which in turn leads to a weakened immune system. Here are some tips to ward off the threat of cold season:
1. Eat plenty of orange and green vegetables and fruits: Oranges are a well-known
powerhouse of Vitamin C, which helps in boosting our immunity levels. Other items like
like Spinach, Carrots, Kiwis, Papayas and other green leafy vegetables are chock-full of
healthy nutrients, sugars and fats, ensuring that we get through the chilly season without
catching any chills!
2. Include lots of fibre: During winter, many of us tend to indulge in a rich diet, which is necessary to keep ourselves warm and energize our system. However, this kind of diet
can be quite heavy on our digestive system. Eating more amounts of soluble fibre such
as those found in apples, nuts etc. can help in smooth movement of food in our body,
3. Keep a sanitizer handy: Our hands are an excellent receptacle for germs and bacteria.
Washing your hands several times a day using a sanitizer can help eliminate most of the germs before they bring us down with diseases.
4. Keep your surroundings clean: Surfaces like doorknobs, tables, taps, switches,
electronic gadgets etc. are perfect breeding grounds and launch pads for germs to enter your body, especially if a person in the house is already ill. Clean such surfaces regularly with antibacterial or antiseptic solution to minimize the risk of infection transmission.
5. Get adequate sleep: The days are shorter during winter, so make sure you hit the bed
earlier and get sufficient hours of sleep to allow your body more hours to repair itself.
6. Drink lots of water and fluids: This may not seem obvious, but staying hydrated has
a bearing on your immunity. Water helps keep your mucus membranes moist, which
strengthens the immune system and helps prevent the onset of colds and chills. Apart
from plain water, coconut water and herbal tea are other drinks that can work wonders.
7. Include Omega-3 fatty acids: These are healthy fats present in items like fish, nuts
and plant seeds. They help in reducing the levels of joint pain and stiffness in the body,
besides lowering the depression levels in an individual.
8. Use herbs and spices: Incorporate spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, onions etc. to
fight inflammation, keep your nasal airways clear and strengthen your immune system. The curcumin present in turmeric, which is responsible for the yellow colour, is a powerful antioxidant and can even help in combating heart disease.
9. Ensure you get Vitamin D: This vitamin is produced in the body when exposed to direct sunlight, so the deficiency is very common in winter. You can take Vitamin D in the form of butter, egg yolk, cod liver oil and sprouted seeds.
10. Regular Exercise: It’s natural to feel a little sluggish during the winter months, and the cold outdoors doesn’t help matters. Nevertheless, it is important to maintain a moderate level of physical activity to enhance your immunity and ward off the common ills associated with this season. If the weather outdoors does not permit exercising, try some indoor activities like Yoga, aerobics, strength-training and other similar exercises.
11. Socialising: Staying connected to friends and other groups and engaging in activities
like hosting a dinner, going for walks and devoting time to collective hobbies will help you stay active and reduce your stress levels.
12. Cover coughs and sneezes: Take care not to spew germs into others’ faces while
coughing or sneezing. Instead, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow. Covering with your hand also helps, but then not washing them immediately will result in the spreading of germs when you touch anything else.
13. Maintain your distance: Keep a safe distance from anyone who is sick. When someone who is sick sneezes or even exhales, they release microscopic droplets of viral fluids, which when inhaled, can spread the infection to any person within the breathing zone of the infected individual. As a thumb rule, keep at least six feet of distance between you and any sick person.
14. Avoid Handshakes: This is gaining widespread usage and is becoming less awkward
in social settings. Skip the hand-to- hand contact and the resultant germ exchange.
Instead, fist bumps or even the traditional Namaste, is a great way of greeting.
15. Ensure you’re vaccinated: An influenza vaccination can considerably reduce the risk
of flu illnesses. Get your shot a couple of weeks before the onset of winter as it takes some
time for your body to develop the necessary antibodies.
16. Get a massage: Massage therapy has been shown to improve the production of
dopamine and serotonin in the body, which are mood boosters and help in easing the stress levels and boosting immunity in a person.
17. Use a good moisturizer: During winter, the skin can become dry dull and hard.
Protect your skin with a good quality moisturizer and a sun screen to keep it radiant and smooth.
18. Stay Warm: Dress according to the weather and equip yourself with jackets, earmuffs, mufflers, caps etc. and keep your air passages clear and immune system strong.
19. Take supplements: It is not a bad idea to take some multivitamin and zinc
supplements, especially if you feel a cold or flu coming on, in order to decrease its duration and intensity.
20. Positive Attitude: Winter can get dull with its bleak, dull days. This, coupled with any
negativity can wear down our body from within. Maintain a positive attitude and indulge in activities which will help you be active to enhance your immunity.
Like every other season, winter comes with its own quirks and positives. There is no reason
not to enjoy the crisp cold air in the pink of your health, provided you’ve taken some