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12 Common Health Mistakes To Avoid During Winters

Winter is coming and with that, it is essential to avoid the common nutrition mistakes we all make during the season. This is because many illnesses types such as cold, cough, flu and allergies peak during the time along with some behavioural changes due to the cold temperature which may trigger certain bad habits and lead us to an unhealthy lifestyle.

The body requirements are different in the winter season and accordingly, we should maintain our fitness and diet to keep our immune system strong and stay illness-free during the season.

In this article, we will discuss common nutritional mistakes we usually make during the winter. It is important to avoid these mistakes to stay fit and healthy. Take a look.


1. Not drinking enough water

Our body loses water mainly through sweat, urination and digestion. In winter, as physical activities become less, people tend to consume less water. Also, due to the cold temperature, the thirst reduces. This can lead to dehydration and cause complications like kidney diseases, constipation or indigestion.


2. Not exercising

The rate of exercise during the winter can get decreased due to laziness of going out in the freezing temperature. However, it is advised to strictly follow the workout regime or carry out other forms of physical activities such as cycling or walking. Exercising helps boost immunity and keeps you active for longer.


3. Not keeping hands and feet covered

A study says that keeping hands and feet covered in winter during the bedtime can help improve sleep quality by influencing the body temperature up to certain levels. It is good practice to wear socks before sleeping as it helps by lengthening sleep time and lessening awakenings during sleep time. [1]


4. Taking long hot showers

Hot showers during winters have a calming effect both on the mind and the body. However, taking long hot showers can actually dry and damage the keratin skin cells (outermost skin surfaces) and cause skin inflammation, dryness and redness. Limit hot showers in a week.


5. Wearing too many clothes

Staying warm during winter is important but wearing too many clothes instead can lead to overheating and perspiration. When a person feels cold, the immune system gears up to produce more WBCs that helps us keep warm and also provide protection against many infections. Too many clothes lead to sweating and can cause dehydration.


6. Binge-eating

Binge-eating is common during cold months. This is because during the winter, our body burns more calories to fight the cold and in the process, makes us consume more of those hot chocolate and calorie-loaded foods. Avoid this habit and instead, stick to fibre-rich fruits or vegetables which will give you satiety and keep you full for longer.


7. Drinking enough caffeine

The consumption of hot coffee increases during the winter as it helps soothe the body and keep it warm. However, too much caffeine can cause negative effects on the body. Limit the coffee intake and consume only around 2-3 cups a day.


8. Sleeping more

During the winter, the daytime decreases and nighttime increases. This disturbs the circadian cycle and causes increased production of melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep. Too much of melatonin causes drowsiness and makes us sleep for longer. Avoid this habit and maintain a proper bedtime routine.


9. Avoiding going outside

The winter chillness prevents us from going outside and instead, makes us spend more time at home in a warm environment. This makes us inactive and lazy and increases the risk of obesity, weight gain and many other diseases. To avoid this, you can go for an evening walk or play outdoor sports like badminton.


10. Self-medicating often

Falling ill during the winter is common but self-medication can be dangerous. Though certain symptoms like fever, chills, cough and body ache are common, it can be a sign of a serious condition. Therefore, if you notice recurring of these symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor rather than popping up an antibiotic.


11. Excessively consuming alcohol

Experts say that a small amount of certain alcohols like whisky and rum acts as a vasodilator and increases the blood flow that helps us feel warm during the season. However, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to kidney and liver problems and also lower our immunity. [2]


12. Not moisturising the skin

Skin moisturisation is necessary during the winter to keep the body hydrated and prevent the dryness or rigidity of the skin due to cold temperature. Winter creams help maintain the skin moisture when the outside temperature drops.


Common FAQs

1. What should you not eat in winter?

During winter, people should avoid the consumption of cold foods such as ice creams, too many fried products like burger and pizza and excessive alcohol consumption. They tend to lower the immunity and make you sick easily.

2. Why winter is bad for your health?

Many strains of viruses, bacteria and influenza are active during the winter season. Also, due to the cold temperature and low humidity, the immune system weakens which adds more to causing the infection.

3. What should I eat to stay healthy in winter?

Experts suggest to drink sugarless herbal teas and eat foods which are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. Also, avoid binge-eating and prefer eating fibre-rich foods.

Story first published: Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 19:00 [IST]