March 20, 2014

Winter Health Tips

All it takes is a step out the back door for most of us to be reminded that we are right smack in the middle of winter. While there are a lot of great things about winter, one of the negatives is that due to the extreme weather conditions, it is a lot harder for  people to stay healthy for the duration of the season. Adults and children alike often come down with colds that can quickly turn into the flu, strep throat and various types of viruses if not caught early.

Of course, the best thing is to avoid catching the above ailments, but how can we ensure that neither our children nor us get sick during the winter? Sadly, there isn’t anything that we can do to guarantee that we will remain in perfect health, but there are still several precautions that we can take to improve our chances.

1.      Wash hands frequently. Studies have shown that one of the best ways to prevent illness is to keep germs down to a minimum by washing our hands several times a day. In fact, they say that washing our hands the good old-fashioned way (with soap and water) is more effective than using the alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are so popular.

2.      Take vitamins and eat well. Keeping our bodies nourished plays an important role in keeping us healthy. If our bodies don’t have the necessary nutrients then it isn’t going to be able to fight off any potential threats. While we can get all of these nutrients from our food, sometimes we come in a little short. This is why it helps to take vitamin supplements in addition to eating healthy.

3.      Go to bed. One of the bad habits I have is staying up to late. I stay up late because I feel like it’s the only time I have to get stuff done without being interrupted since the kids are in bed. However, when I go to bed late I short myself of sleep which does not do my immune system any favors. We need to keep our bodies rested to keep our immune systems in tip-top condition so it can fight of threatening bacteria.

4.      Clean regularly. A lot of people make the mistake of just wiping down their countertops with a wet dishrag or sponge and calling it good. While it’s okay to do this every now and then, it’s not something that should be a habit – especially during flu and cold season. Purchase a good disinfectant spray and clean your countertops regularly – as in daily. This keeps germs to a minimum in the house, which keeps you and your children healthier longer. The cleaning shouldn’t stop at the countertops though. You should take time to go over the toys your kids play with on a weekly basis too.

5.      Bundle up. Staying warm while out in the cold is another important step for remaining healthy. Sudden, drastic weather temperatures can affect our bodies and jump start a cold, which is why it’s important to bundle up before you walk out into the frigid winter weather. This is especially true for young children. Hats, gloves, heavy winter coats and scarves are all important winter accessories so make sure you and your children have them and use them. Even if it doesn’t feel very cold outside, bundle up and don’t risk it.

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