Harmattan is back again, and we expect the weather changes to get more intense over the next few weeks. Many of us have a love-hate relationship with this dry, cold, dusty and windy weather. On the one hand, we love how fast our clothes get dried, but on the other hand, we dislike the stress that comes with constantly wiping off dust.
No matter your stance though, the weather is now different, and so we must adapt to go through this season seamlessly. Here are 6 health habits to pay attention to this season.
1. Stay hydrated
As expected, staying hydrated is one of the most important habits to adopt this season. The harsh weather will increase insensible water loss through your skin, so you are more likely to get dehydrated if you don’t go the extra mile by deliberately increasing your water intake.
When you don’t drink enough water, you are putting yourself at risk of kidney stones and dry throat which can lead to a sore throat. We do not want any of that, do we?
You should keep these in during your hydration exercise:
- You may need to consume at least 8 sachets of water every day (equivalent to 4 litres of water).
- Listen to your body, and drink water once you get the thirst signal.
- Always have a bottle of water with you
- Cold water or fresh juice can make the process of staying hydrated more enjoyable.
- Staying hydrated is not an excuse to take unhealthy carbonated drinks without a care. All ‘water’ is not water.
2. Mask up
Relax, it’s not COVID all over again.
Having a facemask can come in handy this season. The air is dry and dusty, so the delicate mucous membrane in the nostrils can easily be injured and cause the nose to bleed spontaneously, this is called epistaxis.
Covering your nose with a face mask or a damp towel, especially when you’re outdoors or in a fast-moving vehicle will help protect you from nose bleeds.
3. Take care on the road
The weather can get dusty and foggy especially early in the mornings. This can affect your vision and increase the risk of road traffic accidents.
It’s that time of the year when a lot of road trips are common. You need to take precautions on the road by limiting your speed especially early in the morning or late at night. Make sure to take advantage of your vehicle’s wiper to clear out dust and other particles that may obscure your vision while on the move.
Some people can indeed go for months without creaming their bodies, but this is not the time to skip that lotion. Harmattan dries everything out, including your skin.
Help your skin to lock in as much moisture as possible by using a hydrating or moisturizing cream or lotion. Doing this will help avoid cracks and ulcers on the skin. It important to avoid any break in the skin because having a skin breach will make it easy for microorganisms to get into the body and cause infections.
Your lips should also not be left behind. Make sure to use a lip balm or gloss to keep some moisture in.
5. Boost your immunity
The harmattan wind carries with it airborne microbes, dust and other particles that can cause infections. Allergies and colds are also common during this time. So your body needs all the help it can get. It’s time to double your consumption of fruits and vegetables to boost your immunity.
Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. You can try out these recipes.
6. Caution for asthma
The weather changes in harmattan could trigger an asthmatic attack. If you have asthma, you have to be extra careful during this period.
Take your medications religiously. Carry your inhaler everywhere, and make sure to check that it is not empty. This is the time to stock up on your inhaler medications, you don’t want to run out of supply.
There is no need to be afraid, but you must take precautions.
A word from Healthfacts
Harmattan comes with its health challenges and we can successfully tackle them by paying attention to these health tips. Moisturize, eat fruits, and remember, stay hydrated.