Posted On Dec 23, 2022
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Winters in India are the time between the months of November till February. The weather is cold and dry. During this season, we tend to fall sick more often with changing weather and also feel like staying indoors, under soft duvets and covers. There is a primal tendency to stay indoors, in the safety and comfort of the house as the harsh weather is unfavorable in general. With cold temperatures, and dropping mercury, a lot of health issues may arise. We often hear people say, with winters their joint problems worsen. The weather is partially to blame apart from other factors.
Therefore, it becomes more than important to take care of one’s health and immunity. A generous dose of Vitamin D and calcium is essential for the body in winter as we step out less.
Bone health requires regular workouts. Our bones have a tendency to lose mineral density if we are not moving or putting our skeletal system to good use. This is one big reason why Astronauts in space use specialized equipment to exercise their bodies. Another reason to exercise is the overall heat it generates in the body, which is important especially in winter when ambient temperatures drop to zero in some parts of the country.
Exercising not only increases bone strength but also helps improve joint mobility. If you suffer from joint pain, then mild calisthenics, yoga, or even going for a walk outside, under the sun, and performing simple stretching exercises can work wonders.
If you are of advanced age or suffer prior injuries related to the bones and or joints, it is best to talk to your doctor before trying out any new or strenuous exercises. Getting yourself another injury to the bones or joints due to improper movement or excess strain might cause more harm than good in such a scenario.
During winters, there is lowered moisture in the air. Also, we tend to drink less water due to the cold climate outside. Our body needs water, but we choose hot beverages like tea and coffee to keep warm, and these can cause dehydration. Moisture and osmotic balance of the body is vital for bone health. Dehydration can cause loss of water from various parts of the body including the joints leading to pain and inflammation. Prolonged dehydration can lead to serious damage to the bones and skeletal system. Hence, it is wise to ensure a decent intake of water.
There are various ways to increase the water intake of the body without compromising on the warm feeling of relief that sipping hot beverages gives in chilly winters. Soups and green teas are one way to increase fluid intake, along with vegetable stew and broths. All these are food options that will bring warmth and satiation along with a decent fluid intake for the body.
While humans as a species are not one to hibernate, we all lose interest in stepping out into the open as the mercury drops down. While this lack of activity coupled with binge eating might sound like hibernation, and a comfortable option to go to, it is not healthy. The body needs Calciferol or Vitamin D for maintaining optimal bone health. Our body makes Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. This is why it is advised to bask in the soft sunshine of winter months. The daily recommended dose of Calciferol or Vitamin D for an average adult is 600-800 IU and for children is 400 IU.
You can include foods rich in Vitamin D in your diet such as - dairy products, egg yolk, and fish oil to meet the requirement of the vitamin. Another option is the use or addition of Vitamin D supplements to fulfill the requirement. Use of external supplements should be done with proper consultation with a doctor at the best orthopedic hospital in Kharadi, Pune as these may have side effects, every individual is different and their body requirement may differ based upon their health condition and pre-existing health condition.
To fight the cold weather in winter, the use of thick garments and multiple layers of clothing is recommended as it helps you to stay warm. Maintaining body temperature is also important as it helps in reducing the effect of cold weather on the joints and bones. Moreover, layered clothing and warm fabrics like wool also trap the air which acts as an insulator and prevents the loss of heat from the body. This helps you to stay warm and healthy and prevent the harm of cold weather.
Winters are harsh in many parts of the country. Injuries in winter take a lot longer to heal. Thus, any injuries suffered during the season, become a lot worse to heal from as the pain persists much longer. It is important to avoid slippery areas and eliminate the overall risk of accidents within the house as well as outside. Installing handrails and soft mats inside washrooms is a good idea to ensure safety. Wearing proper ortho-care footwear is also a good way to ensure the feet have a strong grip inside the house as well as outside, thus minimizing slipping risks.
Nourishment and rest are two important parameters for optimum health. Eating calcium-rich foods, including nuts and seeds and other seasonal fruits in the diet is a sure shot at winning the healthcare race. If you have any prior health condition, do consult with your doctor before trying any new health supplements for your bone health.
Proper sleep and rest, along with timely sleep are important. The daylight patterns change with the season, and these can impact the circadian rhythm, therefore, one must ensure a regular sleep schedule for proper rest as well.
While self-care and preventive care are a must, going for annual checkups is a good way forward. If you are someone of advanced age or have parents in the advanced age group, then it is important for you to get regular health checkups with a good orthopaedician in Kharadi, Pune at least once a year to assess your overall bone health.
At Manipal Hospitals Kharadi, we have some of the best bone doctors in Pune, who will guide you to good health and care. For further queries about bone health and joint care, contact our doctors or book an appointment today.
Manipal Hospitals, Kharadi, Pune
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