Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter
Health + Wellness & Parenting

Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter

Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter

The winter season is here, and with it comes an increased risk of getting sick. Surprisingly, it’s not the colder temperatures that make you feel ill. People are more likely to spread infection because everyone stays inside where the air circulates and people crowd together. Additionally, the dry air can irritate eczema, asthma, and lung disease symptoms. All of this makes it hard to practice self-care. When you combine these risks with winter travel plans and holiday shopping, it’s unsurprising there are sharp increases in illnesses during this time of year. While this sounds very concerning for most parents, you and your family can practice many healthy habits to stay well! Here are six tips to get you started. We hope that you are inspired by this Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter post. 

Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter

Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter

Wash Your Hands

Does your child have a favorite song or nursery rhyme? Encourage them to sing it as they wash their hands. Proper hand-washing means scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing. To give you an idea, that’s approximately how long it takes to hum the “Happy Birthday” song. I always make certain to get my kids our favorite Method hand soap because it smells sooo good. After washing, it’s essential to dry your hands with a clean towel or air-dry them. Dirty towels harbor bacteria and can spread germs onto your newly cleansed hands. To ensure a towel is clean, toss it into your washing machine with warm water and detergent. Plan to wash your hand towels more often than your bath towels, since your family uses them so frequently. 

Travel Less

Minimize your exposure to viruses and infections by traveling less. Reconsider any plans you have to travel domestically or abroad, as some areas may experience outbreaks of diseases like the flu. By staying home and having virtual visits with family and friends, you limit contact with new people and regions. If you decide to travel, take precautions and use hand sanitizer after touching shared surfaces. When possible, minimize visiting areas with a high population and limited space. Especially in winter, people will flock to indoor spaces to try and stay warm. If you intend to do holiday shopping, consider making online purchases to limit exposure. If you choose to visit brick-and-mortar stores, try to go during off-peak periods to beat the crowds.

Stay Home When You’re Unwell

If anyone in your family feels sick, the safest thing to do is stay home, especially if they experience fevers and respiratory problems. Symptoms vary between illnesses, and sometimes whatever you or your kids have may be infectious to others. By being considerate, your actions could save a life. If someone is sick, they generally need fluids and rest to recover — things that are best to get at home.

Practice Good Hygiene

Hygiene means more than bathing and washing your hands regularly. It includes any actions you use to help maintain your health and prevent the spread of disease. Teaching your children good hygiene will reduce the risk of spreading germs to the rest of the family. For instance, throw used tissues away immediately, rather than leaving them sitting on the furniture or floor. If you have to pick up after your kids, it’s more likely the illness will transfer to you and continue to spread. Remember to lead by example. Demonstrate healthy habits to educate your children through everyday situations. If you have to cough or sneeze, use your elbow or sleeve instead of your hands.

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Keep Active

Regular exercise is vital to maintaining a healthy immune system and combats the extra calories consumed during the winter. Look for ways to stay active during these chilly months. Consider parking farther away when shopping or going for daily walks as a family. While you should make the most of the outdoors, it’s still acceptable to exercise inside, too. The internet offers many free family-friendly workouts that require little to no preparation. Children should aim for at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, while adults need about 150 minutes each week.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care is crucial, regardless of your age. Your body needs rest and relaxation to have time to repair itself after a long day. Kids should get between nine and 12 hours of sleep each night, while babies and toddlers require even more. Consider dedicating one day each week to pamper yourself in the evening. Encourage your family to do the same, and try to factor breaks into your holiday schedule. Nutrition is another way to practice self-care. Your body needs vitamins and nutrients to thrive and fight off infections. Try to cook balanced meals throughout the week. While it’s tempting to overeat during the colder months, the spike in sugar will leave many kids feeling overly tired and cranky.

Practice Makes Perfect

Repetition will help turn these six tips into healthy habits. Share them with your family to help keep everyone safe this winter season and make certain to lead by example. It takes several weeks to form a habit, so keep an eye on your kids and remind them if they begin to forget. If you have younger children, practice hand-washing as a family. When you put a fun twist on healthy routines, it makes the transition smoother for children. 

Have patience if little ones do not understand the secret is to try your best. Where possible, look for virtual ways to make the holiday season a little brighter while staying safe and comfortable at home. We hope that this Healthy Habits to Share With Your Family This Winter post inspires you. Good luck!

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