With harmattan comes dry and cold air with a high likelihood of chapped lips, dry skin, and prevalent cough. The weather tends to make us more susceptible to cold and although our body has defensive mechanisms that can help, it is better to take more care of ourselves in order to reduce the impact of the weather.
Here are some simple tips to help you maintain your health throughout this harmattan season:
The cold and dry air that comes with harmattan tends to mean more water loss for you and your skin. Ensuring that you drink enough water; at least up to 3 liters a day will help to protect you from excessive fluid loss. Also, drinking lots of water is one way to keep your nasal passage moistened during this period and this will reduce nasal irritation.
Get exercises done during the day. If possible, do them outdoors so you can soak up some sunshine too. There are benefits to ensuring that you stay active during harmattan; exercising will help boost your immune system so your body can deal with flu better, it will aid your cardiovascular system, boost your mood and help you burn calories easier.
MOISTEN YOUR NASAL PASSAGE
Inhaling dry air can cause congestion and nasal irritation and not only can this be annoying to deal with, but it can also be an impediment to your health and sleep too. You can keep your nasal cavity moistened by drinking enough water and by setting up a humidifier in your home or at work. Humidifiers are great because they work by diffusing fragrance into the air through vapor. You can go for fragrances that are good for cold as an added advantage to the benefit of inhaling the vapor.
MOISTEN YOUR LIPS
Your lips tend to get chapped and cracked due to the dry air of harmattan so you have to ensure that you keep them moistened. Go for lip balms that have moisturizing and hydrating qualities so your lips are protected from dryness. Lip balms with hydrating agents can also help to ensure that moisture is locked in your lips for a period of time.
Cold weathers tend to bring with them, cravings for hot and heavy meals, as well as a lot of sugary snacks and harmattan is not left out. Because you feel like eating more doesn’t mean you should indulge such cravings as that can have adverse effects on your well-being. Ensure that you maintain a healthy diet throughout the harmattan. Eat lighter dinners and eat more fruits and veggies. Also minimize midnight snacking, caffeinated snacks as well as sugary foods.
EXFOLIATE AND MOISTURISE
The importance of these can’t be overemphasized. The weather can keep your skin dried and chapped and this could lead to skin irritation and compromise your skin. Moisturizing and exfoliating help to shed off dead and dry skin cells and lock in moisture. Go for exfoliating scrubs rich in vitamins C and E and moisturizing lotions that have light-weight hydrating qualities. Avoid over-exfoliating as this can aggravate skin dryness.
Harmattan can be annoying to deal with but taking steps to help you deal with the effects of the weather can make it less daunting. If you have health concerns that can be aggravated by the weather (such as being asthmatic or allergic), endeavor to pay special attention to your health so you are not exposed to risky situations.