20 Aug 2017
5 min read
During the monsoon, our immune systems can take a hit and we become more susceptible to the ills induced by monsoon’s humidity and damp conditions. Thus, we should make more conscious efforts to make ourselves resistant. This week, let’s look at how you can safeguard yourself against common monsoon ills, with these simple tips and suggestions.
Avoid street food
Especially during the monsoon, you need to lay off street food because this season is when water-borne diseases tend to proliferate. Therefore, it is advised that you forgo street food that may not use or may not have been washed with clean drinking water.
When it rains, it gets chilly and we tend to forget about H20. Remember that water plays an important role in carrying out our bodily functions, and you must keep an eye on your water intake.
Fruits and veggies are the way to go
There’s nothing like vitamins from a variety of fruits and greens to help you fight diseases. Load up on them, after washing them thoroughly well with clean water. It is advised that you try to avoid raw vegetables when eating out. If you are eating healthy, stir fry your food in a little oil or steam them. Opt for citrus-rich fruits, which will provide you with a much-needed dose of vitamin C.
TIP: Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in your water and use that to wash your fruits and veggies.
Luckily, Nepali dishes consist of healthful items such as garlic, which can boost our immune systems.
Rosy Pun, yoga and Nirvana Fitness instructor at Niramayaee Fitness Studio, knows that the rain is a big factor in discouraging clients from heading to the gym. Her suggestions? Workout at home. Try out some bodyweight calisthenic moves within the comfort of your bed/living room.
TIP: Stick to full-body exercises such as lunges, squats, push ups, burpees and lots of stretching.
Meditation, with a focus on correctional breathing
Pun says that it is crucial that we not underestimate the power of proper breathing, which enhances mental well-being. Meditation promotes concentration, relaxation, calmness, builds focus, lowers cortisol levels, strengthens the pulmonary system, removes toxins and energises our whole body. Meditation is a great way to take a break from our busy lifestyles and can be practised at home. Moreover, Pun also states that proper breathing and meditation strengthen our immune system.
TRY: Pun suggests this Nirvana Fitness move, called the Pursed lip breathing technique, because it helps with general relaxation. Start by keeping your neck and shoulder muscles relaxed. Inhale slowly through your nose for two counts, keeping your mouth closed. Pucker or ‘purse’ your lips as if you were going to whistle or gently flicker the flame of a candle. Exhale slowly and gently through your pursed lips while counting to four. Pun advises that you practice breathing and mediation in the early mornings.
Challenge yourself by incorporating yoga moves that will help you with your flexibility and overall fitness level. According to Pun, there are many moves that you can try, and she highly recommends the Surya Namaskar, as it provides a total body workout.
When nothing works and the monsoon blues get to you, try home remedies.
Natural home remedies
As a big advocate of the ‘no medications unless absolutely necessary’ way of life, I choose to get better through home remedies. This means the monsoon calls for ‘ancient’ and traditional solutions for the cold and viral flus.
TRY: Add sliced ginger to water. As the mix comes to a boil, add a teaspoon of turmeric. Have this drink to soothe your throat and when you are coughing. You can also simply add turmeric to a glass of milk and drink that to fight the common cold. Something else you can try is ginger tea with crushed tulsi leaves/holy basil.
(Photo by Nirnit Tandukar)