Cold weather, cloudy atmosphere, and dampness around – winters would just want you to curl-up warm, and stay lazy. These conditions increase the kapha dosha, and some times vata dosha as well. Following a healthy ayurvedic routine will help you stay fit and active during the winters, and keep the respiratory infections at bay. Below are few tips.
1) Wake Up Around 7 A.M.
7 a.m. is considered as the apt time for waking up in the morning, during winters. Since, waking up earlier than this time would increase the chances of inducing mucus related problems, due to the cold weather.
2) Follow A Healthy Oral Routine
The first thing recommended after waking up is, brushing your teeth with a toothpaste made of heat generating spices like, cinnamon, clove, and bilva. Scraping the tongue is more important than brushing, since it ensures the removal of bacteria and yeast, and food debris if any present. Oil pulling with sesame oil, once in a week is greatly helpful, since it avoids gum diseases.
3) Massage Yourself With Sesame Oil
Sesame oil acts as a natural skin conditioner and moisturizer. Massaging your body with it keeps your skin soft and supple, keeping the winter woes of itchiness and flakiness away. Massaging your scalp with sesame oil helps retain the heat within the body, and protects you from the cold weather.
A hot shower after the massage, makes you feel warm and fresh, getting you ready for the daily chores. Massaging the feet with sesame oil in the evening ensures sound sleep.
4) Follow A Strict Yoga Routine
It is necessary to practise yoga with empty stomach during winters, since it is more effective that way. Start with Surya Namaskara (sun salutations), followed by lion, boat, fish, locust, and camel poses. These asanas remove the congestion in the respiratory tract, and enhance the immunity. Asanas followed by heating pranayama ensures stability of the internal heat.
5) Give Yourself A Dose Of Healthy Concoction
1 glass of warm water, mixed with half tsp of ginger paste, 1 tsp honey, and half lemon squeeze, energizes your digestive system. Drinking this with empty stomach every morning, gives immunity against cold, and retains the heat within.
6) Have A Sumptuous Breakfast
Winters can enhance digestion, and increase your appetite. It is therefore necessary to have a healthy and filling breakfast to let your digestive system begin its work efficiently. Breakfasts made out of quinoa, cornmeal, oatmeal, toasts made of whole wheat breads, healthy pancakes are recommended.
7) Have A Kapha Soothing Lunch
Starting your lunch with soups, stews, boiled vegetables, topped with crushed pepper and salt is a good idea. This should be followed by a meal made with any of these – quinoa, beans, pancakes, cottage cheese, beans, eggs, tofu, chicken, fish, turkey, etc, which ensure the supply of a balanced dose of proteins and carbohydrates. The quantity of spices used in these can be slightly more than the normal amounts, since spices are good for winter.
It is best to avoid dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and ice creams, since they increase the congestion in the respiratory tract, or might delay getting rid of one.
8) Have Warm Water
Water sources could be some times contaminated during the winter. Therefore, it is best to have warm water which is free of microbes, and helps get rid of toxins in the body.
9) Include Herbal Support In Your Arsenal
Apart from commonly used herbs like ginger and garlic, there are various less-known herbs which can form powerful combating agents during winter. For example – Chamomile helps get rid of winter allergies, Elderberry fights flu virus from entering the body, Echinecea enhances the immune system, Ginkgo treats lung disorders, and fights asthma and flu. Keeping these herbs handy, and knowing the modes of usage helps you fight the ill effects of winter efficiently.
Like all seasons, winter also has various things to cherish, get fit, and enjoy!