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Freezing winter ahead: Minimum number of steps you should walk to stay healthy | Health

As we await Christmas and New Year celebrations, it is also crucial to brace up for the bitter cold ahead. It is that time of the year when mercury plummets to single digits or even below zero in many parts of the country leaving everyone shivering and restricted to indoors. While it’s mandatory to layer your clothing to trap heat and eat nutrient-filled meals, the importance of staying physically active during this season cannot be undermined. Setting a fitness target can help when all your body craves for is the cosy comfort of blankets and piping hot junk food. It may happen that you may not feel like stepping out during cold winter mornings and the rest of the day is packed with work. Fitness experts suggest one can stay active from the comfort of home by walking indoor or doing Yoga and aerobics. (Also read | Minimum number of steps you should walk to avoid lifestyle diseases; fitness experts reveal)

Setting a fitness target can help when all your body craves for is the cosy comfort of blankets and piping hot junk food. (Freepik)

Minimum number of steps for winter wellness

“Ideal is 10,000 steps per day, but on cold days, people should remain inside the house and do brisk walking in house with warm surrounding or do yoga, as in winters the temperature is low and arteries are constricted, so heart has to do more work to keep the circulation. Recognising the tendency to skip activities in winter, it’s advised to take 7,000 steps daily. This could include brisk walking, indoor workouts, or Yoga. Sufficient physical activity not only helps combat the winter blues but also promotes a healthy gut, supporting overall well-being during the colder months,” says Dr. Mohit Saran, Consultant – Internal Medicine And Diabetologist, Manipal Hospital Gurugram.

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Dr. Samrat D Shah, Internal medicine expert at Bhatia Hospital-Mumbai, says that on days when workout seems tough, one should at least do 20-30 minutes of walk or physical activity to feel active, energetic and stay healthy. If 100 steps per minute is your pace, you can achieve 3,000 steps in 30 minutes, the minimum you should walk in the cold winter months.

Precautions to follow during freezing temperature

“Precautions are crucial during this season. Firstly, dressing in layers helps retain body heat. Avoid eating spicy food. Ensure adequate protection for extremities, wearing gloves and a hat to prevent heat loss. Additionally, staying hydrated remains imperative, despite reduced thirst sensations in the cold. Consuming hot beverages, like herbal teas, can contribute to both hydration and warmth,” says Dr Saran.

Tips to survive cold wave

Dr Samrat Shah shares more tips to survive cold wave.

Surviving a cold wave requires several important steps to ensure your safety and well-being. Here are a few key steps to consider:

Stay informed: Keep track of weather forecasts and warnings to stay updated on the severity and duration of the cold wave.

Dress appropriately: Layer your clothing to trap heat and insulate your body. Wear a hat, gloves, and warm socks to protect your extremities.

Stay indoors: If possible, avoid going outside during extreme cold weather. If you must go out, limit your time outdoors and make sure to bundle up.

Insulate your home: Ensure your home is properly insulated to retain heat. Use weatherstripping to seal any gaps around windows and doors and consider using draft stoppers to prevent cold air from entering.

Heat your home safely: If using space heaters or fireplaces, follow all safety guidelines to prevent fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep flammable items away from heat sources and use fire screens for added protection.

Stock up on supplies: Have enough food, water, and medication to last for a few days in case of power outages or transportation disruptions.

Check on vulnerable individuals: Keep an eye on elderly neighbors, young children, and those with health conditions who may be more susceptible to the cold. Offer assistance if needed.

Stay active: Engage in light physical activity indoors to keep your body warm and maintain circulation.

Stay hydrated: Even though it’s cold, it’s important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.

Be cautious with outdoor activities: If you engage in winter sports or activities, make sure to take extra precautions and follow safety guidelines.

Remember, these steps are general guidelines, and it’s important to adapt them to your specific situation and location.


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