Ask Away Blog: How to Keep Your Family Healthy This Winter

How to Keep Your Family Healthy This Winter

Friday, October 30, 2020

 

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Winter is almost here, which means there will soon be a chill in the air and a crisp layer of frost on the ground. Winter can be one of the best times of the year, especially if you love the holiday season. However, winter can also be a time where many people don’t feel at their best as the holiday season coincides with flu season. Millions of people catch colds each winter, and it is estimated that Americans catch on average two to three colds each year. Colds are a common reason for adults missing work and kids taking time off school in the winter.

It is common to catch colds, the flu, and other viruses during the colder months which can leave you feeling run down and longing for the return of summer. Unfortunately, the winter weather provides the perfect conditions for germs to spread. It is believed that cold temperatures can suppress the immune system making people more susceptible to catching a cold or other virus. The flu virus is likely to survive longer in colder temperatures, meaning that it could live longer on surfaces during winter and increase the chances of infection.

No one wants to feel lousy over the holiday season and miss out on all the fun events and traditions that take place. Keeping yourself and your family as healthy as possible should help to reduce the likelihood that you will become ill over the winter, and help you to enjoy the excitement of the season.

Support Your Immune System


While science has achieved so much over recent decades, a cure for the common cold remains to be found. So, the best way that colds and the flu can be managed is by boosting your immunity. As mentioned above, cold weather can lower your immunity and create the perfect conditions for you to catch a virus.

Your immunity may be lower over the winter, and the lack of sunlight will make it harder to get the recommended amount of Vitamin D, so you may want to boost your immunity with the help of some gummy vitamins for the whole family. Gummies are a particularly good way for kids to take vitamins as well as anyone that dislikes taking capsules and tablets.

Reduce the Risk

As the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Due to the current pandemic, many people are taking extra precautions to keep germs at bay, which will also help to minimize your risk of developing other viruses such as a cold or the flu. Being indoors in enclosed spaces can make it easier for germs to spread, so keeping your distance from other people is vital.

Just as you would wash your hands thoroughly and frequently to stop the spread of COVID-19, the same can also help to minimize the risk of catching other viruses. It is helpful to keep some hand sanitizer with you so that you can use it on your hands when you are unable to wash them with soap and water. Cleaning your hands is especially important before you eat, and before touching your face, in particular your eyes and nose.

Stay Active

When it’s cold and raining outside it is so tempting to stay indoors, watch TV and feast on junk food. While the idea of hibernating in your house over the winter may sound like bliss, it could make you feel worse. Staying in too much could leave you feeling lethargic, so getting out and about in the fresh air can help you to blow away some cobwebs and give your energy levels a boost.

If you are worried about the kids turning into couch potatoes over the winter and want them to stay active, why not make exercise a family activity? Going for bike rides and hikes together is an excellent way to bring more exercise into your routine and help everyone to keep their fitness levels up and their screentime down.


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Eat for Comfort and Nourishment


Comfort food and cold weather go hand in hand. Indulging in tasty food always feels great when you are enjoying a cozy night in over the winter. To stay as healthy as possible, it is a good idea to opt for food that is both comforting and nourishing.

Pasta, pizza, and soup are all excellent comfort food choices for a cold evening at home. As well as being tasty, these comfort foods are also easy options to include plenty of veggies to boost the nutrients without the kids even realizing. Alternatively, you could get the kids involved and have them help you to prepare the meal. Cooking is always an activity that kids love and also an excellent life skill for them to develop.

Look After Your Skin

Keeping your insides healthy with supplements and nutritious foods is vital over the winter, but don’t forget to take care of your skin too.

The contrast of being outside in the cold weather and then stepping into the warmth of a heated home can take its toll on your skin. This change of temperature can cause your skin to become dehydrated, dry and flaky. Combined with the increased hand washing due to the coronavirus and you could find your skin’s condition deteriorates pretty quickly. Dealing with the dryness is essential to keep your skin supple and healthy. Dehydrated skin can become itchy and cracked, which makes it susceptible to infection.

To keep your skin feeling comfortable and healthy throughout the cold months, it is crucial to keep it moisturized. Choosing fragrance-free moisturizers that are kind to the skin will enable you to use them on the whole family without upsetting the kids’ delicate skin.





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Be More Hygge

When it’s cold outside, why not take some inspiration from Denmark and add some hygge into your life this winter? Hygge describes the Danish concept of bringing a sense of wellbeing and coziness into your life. While your focus may be on taking care of your family’s physical health, it is also vital to take care of your wellbeing too, and hygge is the ideal way to do this.

Hygge is pretty hard to define in words, but think of the soft glow of candles on a dark evening, snuggling up on the sofa with the kids and drinking hot chocolate, and lazy days spent reading under a soft blanket.

Hygge is a fantastic way to enjoy the best parts of the season and bring a feeling of contentment into your life, which is excellent for your wellbeing and an ideal opportunity to spend lots of quality time together as a family.

Have Fun in the Great Indoors

Getting outside and into the fresh air when possible is an excellent way to ensure that you stay as active as possible. However, there are going to be days when you don’t feel like going anywhere, especially in extreme weather. If you find that the kids start climbing the walls if they can’t get out and take some exercise, then it is wise to prepare in advance.

How about trying some online exercise classes such as family yoga or dance classes to burn off some of that excess energy? It is also a good idea to plan some quiet activities to keep the kids calm and help them to chill out. Stocking up on craft materials before bad weather strikes will ensure that you always have items ready and waiting for kids to get creative when the inspiration strikes.

Take Time to Relax

Did you know that stress can make you more prone to becoming ill? If you have ever felt rundown and then found yourself catching cold after cold, you will know only too well that feeling stressed can make you more likely to become ill. This is because when you are stressed, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol, which can suppress your body’s immune response making it easier to catch infections.

Keeping your stress levels low over the winter is particularly important as there are more bugs around. Everyone has different ways of relaxing and reducing stress levels from exercise to meditations; there are many ways to destress. Once you find something that works for you, why not try doing it regularly to help keep your stress levels low.

Don’t Overcommit

The holiday season is a busy time for many families. There always seems to be plenty going on, from the kids’ school Christmas plays, holiday parties, as well as meeting with family and friends. Being so busy can leave you feeling exhausted and more susceptible to becoming ill. Try not to push yourself too hard by overcommitting yourself. Make sure that you balance all the activity over the season with plenty of downtime and don’t force yourself beyond your limits.

Keeping yourself and the rest of your family healthy over the winter is not easy. But taking a holistic approach that nourishes your body, and improves your wellbeing will help you to enjoy all the best parts of the season.




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