According to meteorologists, winter is the period with the lowest average temperature. This usually happen in the south and northern hemispheres. These periods include June, July and August for the southern Hemisphere and December, January and February in Northern Hemisphere. The countries in Northern hemisphere include all of Europe, North America, majority of Asia, Africa and a small part of South America. While countries in Southern hemisphere include Antarctica, Australia, most of South America, south of the Amazon river mouth in the east and Quito in the west about and 1/3 of Africa, south of Libreville in Gabon and the southern tip of Somalia in the east. From available meteorological information, winter takes about 6 months in a year distributed at 3 months for each of the hemisphere. Although coming at different times of the year, the intensity of winter is determine by climate changes and other meteorological factors.
What are the effects of winter on human body?
Human body is not designed for cold weather, not even the kind of extreme subzero weather currently traversing northern hemisphere. The dangers posed by extreme cold weather are better imagined and this is the reason all warnings are out for people to be careful in the months of winter.
Here are some of the impending dangers winter could cause to human health
Dry eyes and skin: cooler air causes our eyes and skin to dry and hurting. In most cases this causes the skin to crack and sore. The discomforts that trails dehydrated skin and eyes are better imagined.
Sickness: During winter, all sorts of illnesses begin to manifest as body immunity drops considerably during the time due to lack of warmth to stimulate body defenses.
Hypothermia: the drop of body temperature to 95 degrees or less could result in hypothermia; this condition can be fatal with grave consequences in the affected person like inability to move or think and could even lead to death.
Colds and flu: extreme cold weather often causes cold and flu; these are diseases of the respiratory tracks which could result in dire consequences, multiple health complications and even death.
Depression: during winter most people are often affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this condition can lead to other terrible conditions.
Heart Attacks: the freezing weather affects the skin and blood vessel causing restricted flow of blood in the body. When in the extreme could heighten heart complications which might result in heart attacks.
How to stay healthy during winter?
Boost your diet: Eating healthy foods high in vitamin C will help fortify your immune system. It is proper to eat lots of fruit and vegetables like lemons, kiwifruit, capsicum and broccoli etc. A blend of carrot, beetroot, spinach and lemon is a stress-busting combination that will also help to boost your immunity. And make sure to include plenty of lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and use lots of herbs and spices.
Exercise regularly: you need to keep up your workout routine during winter; at least observe a regular and moderate exercise to help boost your immune response. You can observe regular aerobics for five days weekly for 20 minutes each day and keep a healthy lifestyle. Make sure to control your weight and maintain simple hygiene with positive views of life.
Stay connected: connecting with people will help strengthen you and build your immunity. So stay active and socialize with friends and family with lots of happy feelings, dancing and plenty of laughter.
Scrub up: this is time to get cleaned up always. Washing your hands and hydrating your skin to avoid germs and spread of it. Due to frequent coughing and sneezing during winter, keeping simple hygiene is your sure protection against spread of germ, especially flu virus.
Reduce your stress: people who are stressed up are often susceptible to illness. Stress reduces your body immunity and leaves your vulnerable to attack and keep stress minimal and if possible completely out of your life.
Sleep well: Nothing compares to good and normal undisturbed 7 hours of sleep, observed at the right time daily. Sleep helps your body retune and fortified against infections and stress.
Eliminate all forms of sugar: all kinds of sugar must be eliminated this means you need to watch what you eat during this season. Avoid such food as cake, cookies and sweets. Get more information from your doctor on types of foods to keep and to avoid.
Drink more milk: Your body needs more milk at this time as the cold season hits harder, the milk will help invigorate your immune system’s ability to fight. Milk and other dairy products like cheese, yoghurt and fromage frais are great sources of protein and vitamins A and B12 and also very important source of calcium for strong and healthy bones.
Improve blood circulation: due to the cold weather, circulation of blood in the body is a bit restricted as the hands and feet get colder. Make sure to take Vitamin E and the Ginkgo herb to help support peripheral blood circulation, thereby alleviating cold hands and feet. You should also get active to help your blood circulation. You may want to try out stockings and hand gloves and wear clothes that can sustain body warmth.
Stay hydrated: water is always to the rescue. Drink up lots of water and keep drinking to keep your body hydrated. Due to the cold weather, we are tempted to forget to drink water, which the body needs to function optimally. At least take a minimum of 2 liters of water daily.
You need to remember that keeping healthy during winter also requires a little bit of commonsense. Try to watch your feeling and body responses and when you feel a bit uncomfortable and feel like you going to be sick, report early to your doctor for necessary preventive actions.