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Warm up, take a stride

The onset of winter has forced many morning walkers to stay at home and not venture out in the pricking cold.

Once the temperature drops, residents shun the age-old “good habit” of taking the early morning stride out of fear of falling sick.

When The Telegraph visited Patna zoo on Friday, morning walkers were few compared to summer.

TPS College professor Visisthwar Sinha (64) and his wife Geeta Kumari Sinha have been visiting the zoo for the past 20 years but fog and cold keep them away in the winter mornings.

“We are regulars at the zoo. But during winters, we avoid coming here because of the cold. It becomes very difficult to drive the car in foggy conditions. It is not safe too,” Visisthwar said.

The resident of Rajendra Nagar added: “At present, the cold is tolerable. But if the temperature drops further, I would prefer to be at home.”

His wife Geeta said one should take care in the winter chill. “When the cold is unbearable people, should follow the basics of staying warm,” Geeta added.

During winters, the footfall at most of the city parks drops sharply. At the zoo, the average footfall during summer and spring is around 5,000 daily. However, in December and January only 500 people visit the zoo at breaking dawn.

Regular jogger and a resident of Raja Bazaar, Mohammad Mushtaq (62), said: “Jogging during winters is good for health. But one has to follow a few guidelines to stay warm and at the same time avoid sweating.”

He added: “Not many people have come today (Friday). I will stop coming, too, if the cold becomes unbearable.”

On Friday, a thick blanket of fog enveloped the city till 7.30am. “Usually, joggers come to the zoo around 5.30am. Now, people come around 7am,” said the zoo gatekeeper, who was keeping himself warm with a bonfire.

Doctors, too, suggested that morning walks during winters could be fatal if proper care is not taken.

Neurologist Gopal Prasad said: “Hypothermia is common during winters. This happens when the body temperature drops abnormally. Proper clothes are very important before stepping out of the house.”