Wellness Fitness

Safe beat this winter

Two couples enjoying their morning walk. Photo: Aruangsu Roy Chowdhury   | Photo Credit: Aruangsu Roy Chowdhury

Winters cause everyone to shiver. In the past few decades, a rise in the quantum of patients reporting to cardiology OPD, Emergency admission and invasive procedure has been observed due to the chilly weather.

There is an increased demand on the body to generate heat to keep the body warm. That is why the metabolic rate of everyone goes up. We tend to eat more and at same time we eat more fried and junk food. In our country, which is a land of many religions and castes, most of the major festivals fall in the winter season. In fact, winter is a good time for lazily snuggling in bed and wearing warm clothes.

This is why we have high calorie intake to maintain our fuel supply to generate heat. When the imbalance in input versus output is tilted towards input we gain fat weight, and our lipid profile and bad cholesterol start going up in blood levels.

All this causes extra load on the working of our heart which has to pump harder and faster to keep the body functions going. Most of the population, which is healthy, can tolerate this effect of climates but for people, who are borderline cases of heart ailment or proven patients of cardiac problems, will start showing symptoms requiring medical attention.

Some of the symptoms are:

The patients suffering from heart problems may feel chest heaviness, pain on the left side of the chest, jaw line or behind the chest. 

Besides this, day-to-day routine activities may leave patients breathless and tired. Lethargic and feeling of “not feeling well” may also warrant a visit to a doctor. 

The youngsters and older generation may be exposed to frequent throat infections which may lead to heart valve infection. 

All the fatty food and junk food consumed will soon start showing its effect on body mass known as fatty deposition. This would also result in thickening of blood which results in clogging of blood vessels in heart, brain and lower limbs.

Due to cold climate, people tend to feel less thirsty and thus drink less water and also sweat lesser. Therefore our heart needs special care in winter and this very simple and workable guidance will help everyone to enjoy food and healthy body at the same time.

Eat intelligently: Though there would be a shift in the eating pattern of fatty foods, it can be modified to roasted or grilled stuff. As the taste will be enhanced and the ill effects of oily food done away with, the nutrition of the chosen food will be consumed. 

Increasing roughage, high fibre diet, good protein diet and limiting carbohydrates will be important in maintaining the weight during the winter season.

Workouts: Going for a morning walk well covered in warm clothes is a must as the morning breeze with dew can be dangerous for the young and the old.

Get going: In cold it becomes a tough task to go for a workout but you can opt for indoor activities like yoga, aerobic, tennis, zumba or set up a gym at home.

A day out: Motivate yourself to go for some fun sport activities in daylight on open ground with family and friends.

Binge in control: Though the consumption of hard liquor goes up exponentially in winters, one must have control and drink in moderation. Though drinking makes you feel warm initially, too much causes harm in the long run besides being addictive.

Adequate protection: Wear warm clothes, take warm fluids and consume food with good nutrition value to protect you against throat and chest ailments, which precipitate cardiac problems. During workout you will feel warm and sweaty but keep your clothes on.

Climb stairs: A simple activity of climbing stairs rather than taking the lift helps and does so much for our heart. The heart pumps and beats faster leading to exercising of heart muscles.

Regular health check-up: For people who have a history of cardiac ailments or are at high risk as they are over 40 years should have regular preventive check-ups to help prevent any tragedy.

Drastic climatic changes also takes its toll on body functioning. Blood sugar and blood pressure go up. Kidney patients also need to be careful regarding their water intake and urine output and should get regular check-ups with their doctors. 

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 4:13:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/wellness-safe-beat-this-winter/article6856875.ece

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