How to stay fit, safe in winter months

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How to stay fit, safe in winter months

Tuesday, 01 December 2020 | K Ravi

This year, especially with Covid-19 still devastating the lives of millions around the globe, it is very important to take necessary precautions so as to ensure that we stay healthy and safe.

Experts from various fields are concerned that the Covid-19 cases may spike sharply in the coming winter months. Winter is not a season but a celebration in India. The season heralds celebrations and festivals and weddings are galore. While winters do encompass happiness, there is sometimes harshness in equal measures.

The charm of chilly weather is often diluted with the onslaught of seasonal ailments. Children and the elderly suffer the harshness of winters being susceptible to seasonal infections and allergies. It is very essential to build our immunity to ward off infections. Although age-old remedies have proven to be beneficial in preventing as well as curing the seasonal maladies, the spread of the deadly Corona virus this winter makes it imperative to embrace effective measures to stay hale and hearty.

The ancient healthcare system that originated in India and spread across the globe truly holds its own forte amidst modern medicines.

Ayurvedic treatments and solutions are scientifically designed to increase immunity. With winter setting in amidst the pandemic, it is essential to keep two things in mind; the one, Agni balancing which means keep an eye on the digestive tract and the other, immune boosting.

Opting for easily digestible foods (which varies from person to person) works wonders in enhancing immunity as a bad digestive tract can cause accumulation of toxins in the system which will lead to health ailments.

The foods that stimulate immunity are fresh home cooked meals.  “Ayurveda recommends having nutritious and wholesome meals which must  include six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent) with two tablespoons of cow’s ghee in your daily diet as it helps in digestive balancing, boosting immunity and also keeping the body warm.

Consume vegetables with antioxidants along with a lot of juicy fruits. Herbs and spices in your daily diet can boost your immunity. Oil pulling, nasal therapies and breathing exercises will also be beneficial during winters. “Good nutrition is like a medicine for our body;  balance of vitamins A, C, D, E, along with minerals like zinc, magnesium and selenium are essential to support your immune system which can help in warding off seasonal infections. Our water consumption tends to go down with the onset of winter which takes a toll on our immune system. Needless to say, it is important to keep oneself well- hydrated.

Ensure that you drink warm water or water infused with mint, ginger, pomegranate, clove or cinnamon. Vegetable soups with ginger, mint, a pinch of pepper add to immunity boosting.

Black cumin or ‘kalonji’ is effective against bronchitis and several types of bacterial infections and also helps in reducing inflammation, while green tea contains powerful antioxidants and minerals.And it is better to avoid refrigerated foods and beverages, high fat foods and refined carbohydrates which load the system with unnecessary calories. It is always safe to stick to familiar, warm and freshly cooked food.People with a history of respiratory ailments must be extra cautious; they must identify and avoid the food allergens that may trigger breathing problems. Balanced diet and intake of vitamin D are all essential to fight the infections.

The people who have recovered from Covid-19 need to be vigilant and go for regular follow-ups. Physiotherapy, rehabilitation, yoga therapy, lifestyle changes need to be adopted.

It is advised to consume healthy foods which are rich in nutrients to nourish the immunity level.

Ensure good supply of fish, eggs, spinach, mushrooms, cabbage, sweet potatoes and other green leafy vegetables along with nuts and seeds which are rich in zinc, selenium and vitamins which improve the resistance capacity.

Add ample vitamin C eatables like citrus fruits, papayas and pineapples to your diet. Children’s diet should also be handled well, giving them appetizing foods such as fruit salad and vegetable salad topped with cream and honey. Junk food must be strictly avoided. Increase the intake of vitamin D by soaking in the sun. Turmeric, ginger and garlic have antibacterial properties. Ginger is used extensively for protection against cold and cough and other respiratory tract infections.

Spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger enhance immunity level. Black pepper helps in fighting cold and wonder herbs such as tulsi and neem can destroy viruses and boost immunity in winters.  Add ghee to your food along with carrot, radish, garlic and dry fruits to make your body feel warmer naturally.

Whole grains such as maize, bajra, ragi, millets and yogurt, lentils and pomegranate are other must haves in winter. Along with the right food intake, experts also suggest us to follow a proper exercise regime and sleep cycle.

Exercises help to deliver blood to all the organs more efficiently and getting 7-8 hours of sleep is crucial for our body to rest, heal and repair along with increasing the body’s ability to fight infections.

De-stress and keep yourself physically fit by exercising or practicing yoga and meditation. Winter apart from signalling the arrival of New Year is hard to be ignored in spite of harshness in weather conditions. Stay warm, stay safe.

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