Go, Embrace The Winter Wind

0 Mon, 23 January 2012, 13:25

Rujuata Diwekar

Now that winter has officially set in, want to snuggle up with a steaming mug of coffee or indulge in some bench-warming? Spare a thought for those creaky knees, stiff lower back and wobbly ankles. For that’s what will become of them if you continue sitting around and comforting yourself with tea, coffee or brandy (or any other form of alcohol).

Your bones and joints feel vulnerable in winter and they just don’t get any tender, loving care with inactivity. The sun sets early and sometimes doesn’t even seem to rise amidst the fog. Naturally, Vitamin D (crucial for calcium absorption) availability is rather low, as is the body’s motivation for activity. This double whammy, along with that cup of coffee, makes calcium absorption a challenging task. One way of providing some TLC is to create conditions within the body that make it easier for bones and joints to absorb calcium and stay strong, agile and lubricated.

Maybe that’s why our great grandmothers and their gang of boys and girls started the tradition of winter festivals, forcing us to move around to prepare for the festivities and also eat food that helps keep bone density high and aid blood circulation. Gajak, for instance, is rich in ghee, til and gur. It is for this reason that Spiti, which remains under snow for almost six months a year, has maximum festivals in winter.

I hope you get my point—our festivals and rituals may not be well marketed, but they exist for a reason. Even if the reason is to get the lazy bones to move and keep the body warm, it eventually adds to your well-being and makes you look and feel cool; cooler than those ads where you curl up with your cuppa.

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