June to September is a delightful season for those who utterly enjoy the monsoon rains. As skies turn dark and landscapes turn green, the arrival of monsoon season infuses new hope for a predominantly agricultural society like ours. The season is a lifeline for India!
The rainy season also heralds a much-anticipated break from the torrid summer heat across India. The flip side is that it is also accompanied by many health woes, ranging from the increased incidence of vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue to cold and flu from drastic temperature changes. Moreover, increased water contamination also leads to a greater risk of waterborne diseases like Typhoid and Cholera.
Now, with the raging COVID-19 pandemic across the country, it is all the more important to take action towards keeping ourselves healthy. With forecasters suggesting a normal onset of monsoons this year, here is a reckoner that will help you stay healthy during the start and throughout the season.
Switch to a healthy diet and follow basic food hygiene
The rainy season is believed to dampen the immune system of our body, especially during onset when the weather changes rapidly around us. Therefore, being extra careful with the food we consume is key to staying fit during these moisture-laden rainy months.
It is highly recommended to opt for seasonal fruits like pear, blackberry, litchi, plum, and cherry for your daily diet. In addition to seasonal fruits, adding garlic, pepper, ginger, asafoetida, and coriander can significantly enhance digestive power and improve immunity. One must also slash the intake of salt as an excess of it may lead to water retention and high blood pressure. Other recommended food items for the season include bitter gourd, neem, turmeric, and curd.
Moreover, it is also very important to thoroughly wash the edible items before consumption, including fruits, all vegetables, especially the green and leafy ones. Also, prefer fully-cooked meals and avoid half-cooked food items. These steps can keep monsoon pathogens at bay. Also, avoid eating unhygienic street food or fried spicy items that may carry galore of diseases such as seasonal allergies, infections, viral fever and more. These food items also add up to the risk of acidity during the rainy months.
The bottom line is to rely mostly on home-cooked meals and opt for hot beverages over cold drinks, especially amidst this pandemic.
Keep the surroundings clean
Maintaining good hygiene in your house and its enclosure is one of the most effective practices during the monsoon. By ensuring that the surroundings are clean, with no water stagnation or decaying matter, one can reduce the risk of vector-borne diseases that are carried by mosquitoes and other insects. Using particular repellents are the best for these purposes. The use of liquid vaporizers, electric plug-ins for indoors, and mosquito coils or cards for outdoor settings like gardens or balconies can also be considered.
Moreover, opting for organic insect repellents is also another way to protect you from pesky flies and other insects. It is also advisable to get the pest control treatment done during the monsoon. Fumigating will help to remove all the unwanted insects from lingering in the area and thus keeping the diseases at the bay. However, make sure that the use of persistent and harmful chemicals is minimal during such an exercise.
Make time for exercise
Staying indoors amid the pandemic has significantly impacted the overall metabolism and physical health for many. And now with the arrival of the monsoon, our movements could reduce further. But remember, despite the current circumstances, we should not skip our daily dose of physical exercise. If you can’t hit the gyms or your nearby park, then ensure that you do sufficient physical activities at home.
Light exercise, yoga, stretching at home, and not sitting idle for too long are some ways to keep oneself fit. If you can afford to have exercise equipment at home, there is no better time to invest in them than now. Yoga is another way to stay fit while staying indoors. Yoga is also beneficial in building immunity, reducing respiratory problems and ensuring better mental health as well.
In particular, people who suffer from aching bones and cracking joints must not fail to follow a basic exercise regime during the monsoons. Day to day exercise supports healthy joints and muscles as they stay lubricated, thus preventing avoidable pain. It will help from developing severe ailments like arthritis, sciatica and rheumatism, which may become prevalent during the season.
On top of all these, daily exercise is vital to boost the body’s immunity and will eventually help you ward off illnesses.
Drink plenty water
Drinking water has always been a crucial measure towards keeping the body fit any time of the year. But particularly in the months of monsoon season, experts recommend maintaining the daily intake of water in order to stay hydrated, which we often tend to forget. Due to excessive humidity in the surroundings, our bodies often tend to lose water at a faster rate, and this dehydration may lead to severe lethargy. Therefore, it is highly recommended to intake a sufficient amount of water.
But, make sure that water is not at all contaminated as diseases like cholera and diarrhoea are quite rampant during the monsoons. Ensure that the water is filtered or boiled and avoid drinking water from unhygienic sources like from roadside food joints or juice centres. Carry your own water bottle when stepping or opt for a treated water bottle when required.
Avoid drenching in rain
As much as it sounds fun to rejoice, play and dance in rain—it may impact our health if sufficient care is not taken. With the lurking danger of coronavirus and fungal infections, it is important to stay safe and not step outside to welcome the monsoons. The first rains carry risks of increased pollutant load washed from the atmosphere and increased flu risk due to sudden weather change.
In case you do get soaked in the rain, take a warm water bath to clean the body from any sort of invisible pathogens or contaminants. Make sure you clean your feet thoroughly and dry them to prevent rash or fungal growth. Moreover, consume warm food or drinks to avoid catching the flu or cold.
Remember, taking good care of your body will not only ensure that you remain healthy but can also make the monsoon season more enjoyable on the whole.
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