Winters is one of the really loved season and rightly so. It brings in so many beautiful memories from childhood, fun things to do, warm food and beverages, so many things to cherish! However, one of the few things about winters that may have an adverse effect on your health apart from allergies and flu is lack of sunshine. During winters people usually do not get enough sunshine which in turn affects the bone health because of low levels of vitamin D.
Dr Vivek Dahiya, Additional Director, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Okhla, New Delhi believes that lack of sunshine in the winter can affect your bone health with low levels of vitamin D can impact the bone health. He believes that regular consumption of Vitamin D is very important during winters. He says, "Due to the harsh weather people have a tendency to stay indoors, and exposure to the sun is severely diminished. Therefore the vitamin D intake (taken from the sun), which boosts our metabolism, immunity and spine health is significantly lowered."
He further explains that it is essential to load up on vitamin D rich foods during the winter season. Some of them are-
- Dairy products
- Egg yolk
- Fish oil
- Omega - 3 rich foods
You can also opt for vitamin D supplements. Expert recommends a dose of vitamin D supplements of "400 IU daily for children and 600-800 IU daily for adults." However, it is important first to get checked you are deficient in vitamin D or not by a professional.
Dr Vivek also provides us with a few tips and precautions to enjoy the weather while maintaining our bone health.
- Layered clothing- Keep the body protected from cold weather by using thick garments and multiple layers of warm clothing. This is useful because the air trapped between various layers acts an insulator and prevents the body from losing heat.
- Exercise- Exercising outdoors during winter has many benefits as the body burns more calories in the cold. People who suffer from joint pain can go for a walk outside and do simple stretching exercises indoors. Exercise not only loosens up the joints but also strengthens the bones and muscles.
- Adequate hydration- Water eases away the pain from the joints and muscles. By staying hydrated, the cartilages which are present at the joints are put to ease, allowing for quick and painless movement.
We wish you a happy and healthy winter. Especially for people living in areas like Delhi that sees harsh winter, it is time to take precautionary measures against the harmful effects of winters.