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Winters not so cold for tourism industry

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By-Kavita Bajeli Datta

Heli-skiing in Auli, paragliding in Manali, Bunjee jumping in Rishikesh, trekking in mighty Himalayan range, ice climbing in Garhwal and many more adventurous sports that winter offers us.

The harsh winter is no more a hinderance to a great holiday.

Winters is a time when tourism industry comes alive, offering a wide range of activities for an adventure enthusiast.

Film editor, Sandeep Singh, is awestruck by the snow-capped landscape and cold winds exhilarating. For this travel junkie, winter is best suited to pack bags and set off to a new destination.

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“I love travelling during the winter. I take off to the mountains. The biting cold seems to open up all my senses and makes them sharper,” said Singh, an avid traveler.

“Be it para-gliding, trekking or bunjee jumping, I do it all. My wife and friends are game for it. Winter certainly is the best time for such adventure.”

Winter travelers are by no means rare species anymore. Be it Leh or Patnitop or Gulmarg, travelers find their way.

With all the adventure sports, travelling in winters has become more thrilling and exciting. This might be the reason why men along with their families are attracted to snow filled mountains.

The travel industry is exploiting the season with attractive packages.

“A winter break has become almost as mandatory for Indians as vacationing in the summer. In fact, Indians have started exploring not only domestic but also, international destinations during the shorter winter break,” Sharat Dhall, president of Yatra.com said.

The popular travel portal claimed that its bookings raised 132 percent more than the previous winter season.

Ranjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer-Holidays of MakeMyTrip.com added: “Winter tourism as a concept has picked up in India.

“With the growing popularity of adventure tourism in India, winter snow sports have become a hot tourist attraction. Gulmarg (Kashmir) is considered one of the best skiing destinations in the world.”

Interesting packages like “Alluring Gangtok” (starting from Rs.10,650) to “Manali Super Saver” (starting from Rs.5,999) and “Hilly Escapades in Himachal” (starting from Rs.10,900) are offered by Yatra.com to allure travelers.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) acknowledges that winter is the best season for the tourism industry’s growth.

Assocham secretary general D S Rawat told that winters were ideally the best season across India.

As per Assocham estimates, over 15 lakh domestic and foreign travelers have visited winter attractions across India(December-February).

Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh captivated the most number of tourists.

Adventure travel is the biggest attraction among couples.

Hari Nair, founder and CEO of Holiday IQ, said 52 percent of adventure travel business goes to couple-travelers. Families comprise 21 percent and only nine percent are single tourists.

The top 10 winter activities included trekking, wildlife safaris, paragliding, skiing, rock climbing, jet skiing, river rafting and surfing, he added.

So get ready because winters have a lot in the bag for you! (IANS) (Image source: happytrips.com)(Kavita Bajeli-Datt can be contacted at kavita.bajeli@gmail.com)

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Here are Ways to Keep Yourself Warm During Winters

How to beat cold feet in winters

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Winters
We all feel cold during the winters. Especially during these winters which have been termed as the coldest winters in 118 years! Pixabay

We all feel cold during the winters. Especially during these winters which have been termed as the coldest winters in 118 years! One of the most exposed and vulnerable parts of our body is our feet. There are several reasons why our feet become and remain cold in winters. These include reasons related to extrinsic causes (surrounding environment), intrinsic causes (due to normal human physiology) and/or specific diseases.

Dr Dhananjay Gupta, Director, Orthopaedic Surgery, Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi explains what the ailment is all about and hot to beat it.

Extrinsic causes is when normal temperature is reduced it causes the constriction of the peripheral vasculature to save body heat loss by restricting circulation.

winters cold feet
Prevent crossing your legs for long while sitting during winters. Pixabay

High stress or anxiety, causes release of adrenaline into circulation which in turn leads to peripheral blood vessel constriction, this is an intrinsic cause.

Circulation issues are another reason. There is decreased circulation to distal parts of the body and in turn leads to cold hands and feet. This can be due to a sedentary lifestyle, various heart conditions which lead to decreased cardiac output, tobacco smoking, atherosclerosis.

Anaemia also leads to decreased oxygen supply to body parts resulting in decreased metabolic activity at cellular level.

Raynaud’s disease is a condition in which spasm of arterioles occurs in cold temperature.

Nerve disorders: Cause for nerve damage are either external (injury, trauma, burns, frostbite) or internal (liver or kidney diseases, nutrient deficiency, infection). These patients also have additional symptoms of nerve damage.

Diabetes mellitus: It causes narrowing of blood vessels on the other it is also responsible for nerve damage.

Hypothyroidism: Reduced thyroid hormone level leads to reduced metabolic activity and in turn to cold hands and feet.

SYMPTOMS- Either cold feet can occur in isolation or in combination with other symptoms which include numbness, paraesthesia, sores on weight bearing areas, skin changes (rashes, scales, thick skin), fatigue, weight loss or gain, fever, joint pain

Management: If one has cold feet with no underlying condition, then they just must cover up and bundle themselves up in better woollen clothing. However, if on is predisposed to some condition, management is directed towards the cause per se. The approach should be to identify the factors responsible and then to manage it accordingly.

Preventive remedies:

Movement: it is one of the easiest ways to warm up. It acts by increasing circulation and in turn increases the foot and hand temperature. Jumping, running, brisk walking or simply moving around is more than enough.

Thick socks and slippers: warm thick and well insulated socks and shoes.

Warm water foot baths is the easiest and most effective way; instant effect within 10-15 mins.

Heating pads, hot water bottles or room heaters for bedtime.

Heating insoles are ideal for people who have outdoor jobs. They are battery operated and chargeable.

Prevent crossing your legs for long while sitting.

Exercise on regular basis enhances blood flow and is an effective way to prevent cold hand and feet.

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Traditional home remedies like rubbing of hands and feet with onion or bathing in potato water is an effective way to improve circulation.

Problem in preventing or treating the cold feet in winters lies in the negligence to identify the exact cause that is responsible, by the patient himself or by the treating doctor. (IANS)

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Here are 5 Ways to Reduce Joint Pain in Winters

Ayurveda for joint pain in winters

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Joint Pain
A chronic osteoarthritis condition can cause stiffness, joint pain and loss of movement. Pixabay

Winter can be a difficult season for those battling joint pain.

A chronic osteoarthritis condition is caused when the cartilage in your joints wears down and the bones begin to rub and scrape against one another, causing stiffness, joint pain and loss of movement.

Here are some of the measures suggested by Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda, which you can use to prevent joint pain from making your life difficult.

1. Daily joint rotations

Include daily joint rotations in your workout routine along with some low impact exercises like cycling and swimming. It will help you ease the joint pain and prevent worsening of the condition. Additionally, walking can also prove to be helpful, but make sure you don’t walk too fast and wear comfortable shoes that are relatively flat.

2. Practice Abhangya

It is a form of full body massage with medicinal oils. This therapy helps reduce vata and mobilises the toxins from tissues. To give yourself a proper massage, heat approximately one cup of organic sesame oil and apply on the entire body from scalp to toes. Massage using vigorous long strokes for at least 10 minutes each day. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, do not practice Abhyanga.

Olive oil joint pain
Consuming Olive oil, sesame oil or ghee can lubricate your joints and reduce joint pain. Pixabay

3. Include ghee in your diet

Arthritis is seen as a disease of excess vata, which reduces moisture throughout the body and causes loss of lubricity. Consumption of ghee (clarified butter), sesame oil or olive oil can help soothe inflammation, lubricate the joints, and banish arthritis stiffness.

4. Gentle yoga

Yoga provides a gentle form of exercise that helps maintain mobility of the joints. Practicing poses like Tadasana (Mountain pose), Virabhadrasana (Warrior pose) and Dandasana (Staff pose) can help reduce the pain in arthritis and increases the mobility.

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5. Proper diet

Maintaining a balanced diet is essential to managing joint pain. Consumption of grains like “raktashali” and “shasthika” lower the inflammation. Veggies and fruits like karela (Bitter Gourd), brinjal, neem and drumsticks are recommended along with berries and avocados.

Living with joint pain can be very difficult, especially if you’re getting on in age. While it’s possible to find short term relief by following the outlined tips, long term treatment of the condition will need professional intervention. (IANS)

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Here are 5 Mistakes that may Kill Your Plants in Winters

Mistakes that kill your plants in winter

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Plants in winters
It is your duty to take care of your plants during winters as some careless mistakes might kill them. Pixabay

As winter approaches, humans go into power-saving mode and do all that it takes to make the cold season as cosy as possible. Considering that plants can’t do so by themselves, we need to take care of them during these few months.

For some plants, winters are a time when they go into hibernation. That means they can slow down their growth or even go completely dormant. The severely cold temperatures can sometimes send them into shock. So we need to give them some extra love and care during these possibly distressing months. Here’s a look at some things that could cause harm to your plants and what you can do to prevent it. Vinayak Garg, Founder of LazyGardener, underlines key points to be kept in mind.

1.Relocation

Now plants that are in the ground, cannot be moved of course, but potted plants should be moved to a place where they will get as much sunlight as possible. In winters, the days slowly become shorter, which means less sun exposure, so if possible move the plants according to the sun, allowing them to soak up as much as they can.

They should also be kept in a location where they don’t get too much of a cold breeze of drafts.

Make sure that the plant’s foliage does not have dew on it, if it does, you can wipe it off. Plants like succulents are sensitive and water deposits on the plant can kill them.

Overwatering winters
Overwatering plants during winters is not a good idea. Lifetime Stock

You can move your outdoor potted plants indoors, next to a window that has the most sun exposure. Also, make sure the window is clean so it allows more sun to shine through as opposed to a dusty one which would make the sunlight diffused. Small things can help the plant withstand the cold temperatures.

2.Water Temperature

Have you ever gotten up on a cold winter morning and walked to your bathroom in a half-asleep state and turned the tap on and jumped up in shock? Yes, sometimes the tap water can get so extremely cold that your hands might start hurting after washing them with the cold water. This extremely cold water can harm your plants as well.

The cold water will force the sensitive roots into shock. A good habit would be to fill up a bucket of water in the morning when you wake up, let it sit and reach at least room temperature and then you can water all your plants.

3.Overwatering

It is very easy to overwater a plant during the winters. It may seem to be counter-intuitive to not water your plants in winter, with the air being very dry, but plants are the most susceptible to root rot during winters. Because of the minimum sun exposure, the evaporation rate also drops down a lot. This causes the water in the pot to accumulate for a longer period of time, giving the roots more opportunity to rot. It might be hard, but avoid watering your plants until the dire need arises, or the soil is dry completely. You should also take care of when you water the plants. Watering in the evening and night may be detrimental to plant because the temperatures drop severely at night and the water that the soil holds will also get very very cold, which will, in turn, harm the sensitive roots of the plant. The best time would be in the late morning when the sun is just beginning to warm the soil.

4. Cleaning the plants

Cleaning winters
Cleaning your plants even during winters is very important. Pixabay

We need to make sure that in winter, the plant is at its optimum capacity to soak up as much sunlight as possible. When dust accumulates on the leaves of the plants, it prevents them from performing photosynthesis as well as they can. Cleaning the surface of the leaves with a soft damp cloth is the best way to get your plants looking pretty and giving them the best chance to take in all the sun that they can!

Cleaning your plants also includes getting rid of any dead leaves or stems. Dead, rotten leaves and stems can cause infections in healthy ones. So it is necessary to get rid of the dead parts promptly.

Any weeds should also be taken out of the pot. Sometimes small vegetation grows in the pot without you even planting anything, but these weeds take up resources from the soil.

Also Read- Here are Ways to Make Your Office Eco-Friendly

5. Repotting

Repotting of plants should be avoided in winters. Plants are at their dormant phase in winters and repotting can disturb the root system easily, leading plant into a state of shock. Repotting should be resumed in early springs which starts from February. (IANS)