Health tips for winter – Many people look forward to the winter months eagerly because not only is it a festive season with Diwali, Christmas and New Year being celebrated but also because of the several winter-specific activities that are fun for the entire family.

Unfortunately though, there are probably just as many people who dread this season because they believe that winter also brings along illnesses and ailments such as colds, coughs, fever, itchy skin and frost bite. Studies indicate that almost everyone suffers from a bout of cough and cold at least once during the winter season. To add to it all, most of us tend to eat more and exercise less, during the winter season, which again, can lead to health problems, especially in those who suffer from preexisting medical conditions.

Here’s a list of diseases that are common in winters and many run the risk of being affected by them –

Heart attack/Stroke: According to a study published in the British Medical Journal, cold weather ramps up the risk for heart attack. Researchers from the United Kingdom have found that for every 1-degree Celsius (1.8-degree Fahrenheit) drop in the average daily temperature, there is a 2 percent increase in heart attack risk. Another study published in the journal Frontiers in Bioscience, found that winter can worsen high blood pressure and therefore trigger complications such as heart failure and stroke.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): This is a type of depression which causes dampened moods in the winter months. This becomes evident when the effects of short days take their toll (January and February) – the American Psychological Association (APA) reports. Evolutionarily, humans are inclined to sleep and be lazy in the winter. Researchers believe the disorder stems from failure to adapt to the physical environment.

Flu: People always seem to get sick during the winter months, especially from November to February. One reason is the influenza – the virus responsible for flu survives and even thrives in winter.

Fortunately, winter need not be an unpleasant time for all of us. It is quite possible to make winter a wonderful time, filled with fun and joy, just by following certain tips of winter health care. Given below are some useful winter health care tips that are recommended by several health experts:

Eat Healthy

There is nothing like reaching out for comfort foods like hot chocolate with cookies when you are cold. However, there are certain foods that are very healthy, but will keep you nice and warm during the winter. This includes oatmeal, warm skim milk, clear chicken soup, and so on.

Dress Appropriately

People of all ages should dress suitably in the winter months, to avoid falling ill or getting frostbitten. Winter clothes generally include warm woolen jackets, overcoats, socks, gloves, shoes, mittens, cardigans and hats.

These winter health care tips are relatively safe for almost all people and can reduce the possibility of falling ill during the winter season.

Here are some Home-made remedies and tips to fight the winter perils

1. A cup of hot milk and half teaspoonful of turmeric powder can be very beneficial to cure sore throat and cold related mild fever.

2.  If you have a blocked nose or running nose try taking warm/ hot steam. The procedure is simple. Boil water in a big bowl and place it on your dining table. Put half teaspoonful of cooking salt into it, bring your face over the warm water, and cover your entire head with a big towel. Now breathe slowly for 5 minutes. You will feel the ease in your respiratory track. Remove the towel. You can repeat this process 2 to 3 times in a day.

3. Drink warm water, when you have cold or sore throat.

4. Avoid cold and flu by washing your hands regularly. Experts increasingly believe that washing your hands is an important element of germ control and disease prevention.

To ensure you and your family steer clear of cold, flu and ear infections this season, keep your immune system in top condition. A well-balanced diet, including fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamins and nutrients, and exercising on a regular basis, can help your immune system stay healthy and strong while ensuring that you enjoy winters to the fullest.

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