In winters, there typically arise a host of health problems which affect people around the world. Among them are common cold and joint pains (for people of a certain age). The good news, however, is that these are treatable and you only need to follow some rules to ensure a healthy and comfortable winter season experience, filled with festivities, get-togethers, etc.
Kanchan Naikawadi, managing director and preventive healthcare specialist at Indus Health Plus, says with updates and rising cases of the new Covid variant Omicron, it is suggested to be more cautious and take necessary measures to avoid seasonal illnesses in winter. She lists some common seasonal diseases and how they can be prevented.
1. Common cold: Shorter days and longer nights in winter mean lesser amount of sunlight exposure and lower natural vitamin D – which helps in powering the immune system. This makes us more vulnerable to infection. The cold virus also transmits faster in the cold.
Prevention: It is recommended to increase the intake of proper diet, rest and regular exercise to keep your body warm to lower the risk of getting a common cold.
2. Strep throat: It is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and tonsils. It is a common illness caused by cold weather in children within the age group of 5-15 years. Winter care for kids is important to prevent it.
Prevention: Drink more warm fluids during the season, stay hydrated, wash your hands frequently, gargle when feeling even a slight soreness in the throat, get proper rest.
3. Joint pain: Mostly seen in arthritis patients. A sudden fall in temperature can trigger joint pain leading to immobility in some cases. Make sure to wear warm clothes. Do exercise regularly to keep your body warm.
“During winters, you may lose the motivation to exercise and stay healthy. This may result in a weaker immune system,” says Naikawadi, adding that it is better to take necessary precautions.
* Wash your hands frequently: It is the most common disease prevention step. To prevent the spread of germs during the pandemic, you should always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol to clean hands before and after:
– Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth – Touching your mask – Entering and leaving a public place – Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens.
* Add vitamin C to your diet: It boosts the immune system and helps fight symptoms of cold, flu, and other common winter illnesses. Also, consider adding to your diet the best foods for winter to keep away from the flu.
* Drink herbal teas: Drinking herbal teas like chamomile or tulsi can relax your body and help you rest better.