Combat the chill, travel safe

Winters can take a toll on one's well being. Dr Mahesh Kumar suggests ways how one can stay warm in the cold
Last Updated 27 January 2020, 19:30 IST

Whether you are travelling to another city or abroad, extremities in the temperature can impact your well being. Many of us pay less attention to what we eat, the time we sleep as well as our overall routine during winters. There are many ways to keep ourselves healthy. Some simple remedies against some common ailments are:

Sore throat

Sore throats are caused by viral infections. A quick and easy remedy to get rid of the sore throat is to gargle with warm saltwater.


People with asthma should be careful with activities like bungee jumping, rock climbing etc during winters. They should take their regular medications and keep inhalers handy.

Painful joints

Joint pain and swelling tends to increase during this season. Swimming is easy on the joints but activities that put pressure on the joints should be avoided.

Dry skin

Dry skin often gets worse during winters. Carrying moisturisers and applying it after a bath or shower while your skin is still moist, and again at bedtime when you are vacationing, will help in protecting it.


People aged 65 and above, pregnant women, as well as people with health conditions like diabetes, kidney disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are at a higher risk of flu. Getting yourself vaccinated in the beginning of the year and consulting your doctor before you plan your vacation is a must.

Other precautions to take during the season to keep illnesses at bay are:

Choose the right clothes

Dressing in layers helps regulate body temperature. Woollen socks, boots, warm jackets, gloves and a cap are recommended since the fingers and ears are especially prone to frostbite.

Understand outside temperature

Temperatures below freezing (32°F) and slightly higher temperatures accompanied by chilly winds are risk factors for hypothermia and frostbite. As wind speed increases, it can carry heat away from your body more quickly, thus making you more susceptible to weather-related health problems

Eyes and skin protection

During winters, UV radiation is not only emitted from the sky but also from light surfaces on the ground like snow, which reflects up to 80 per cent of the UV light from the sun. Choose waterproof sunscreens like SPF 30 or higher (with broad-spectrum or multi-spectrum protection for both UVB and UVA rays) and wear sunglasses that offer 99 per cent or greater UV protection.

(The author is consultant, internal medicine, Narayana Health City)

(Published 27 January 2020, 19:30 IST)

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