Winter Blues

As the weather changes and the nip in the early morning air announces the onset of winter, here are some useful health tips for you.

ENJOY SUNSHINE; INCREASE VITAMIN D:  Vitamin D is linked to heart,skin, bone, immune and mental health. It is associated with diabetes, heart disease, asthma and allergies. A long foggy winter results in Vitamin D deficiency. Those at risk of Vitamin D deficiency include those who do not get enough sun exposure – seniors, darker skin pigmentation, malabsorption, chronic kidney disease. Salmon, eggs and yogurt provide Vitamin D but the best way to replenish your stores is to say hello to sunshine.

DON’T QUIT EXERCISING : Exercise strengthens the immune system anD helps to fight off colds & flu. Shift your exercise time to a little later in the morning. If it is too cold & foggy outside, yoga and indoor exercises are a healthy alternative.

EAT RIGHT : Avoid sugary treats to avoid winter weight gain. Eat a healthy diet with loads of fresh fruits and  vegetables. Drink the optimal amount of water. Hydrate with herbal teas, fresh juice, soups, warm water with lemon juice.

HAND HYGIENE : Wash your hands regularly to keep bacteria and viruses off your hands. Keep a bottle of hand  sanitizer with you.

DON’T SMOKE : Smoking significantly weakens the immune system and makes you more prone to pneumonia.

PROTECT YOUR SKIN : Skin cracks and feels flaky. The more you turn the heat on indoors, the more the skin starts to dry out. Use an oil – based moisturizer rather than water – based as the oil will create a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture. Non-clogging oils like avocado oil, primrose oil or almond oil are better. Humidifiers help get more moisture in the air rather than heaters that blast hot dry air. Use lotions containing petroleum jelly or glycerine to grease up your feet. Ban super hot baths which brake lipid barrier in skin & lead to loss of moisture. A lukewarm bath is better.

FIGHT WINTER BLUES : Seasonal changes in brain chemistry cause winter blues. Seasonal depression is linked to lack of light exposure on short winter days. Listen to music, enroll in group activities or hobby classes.

BE WISE, IMMUNIZE – Get the flu jab especially if you are elderly or have illnesses reducing your immunity level. Your physician may recommend a pneumococeal vaccine in addition to the influenza vaccine. Don’t ignore persistent cough and fever. Consult a physician early.

Wish you a healthy and cheerful winter season.

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