Winter Survival Hacks For Your Family
We know that ‘run-down-feeling’: your body aches, your throat tickles, and you just can’t think straight. You’re getting sick. And sickness can spread like wildfire in your family, especially amongst little ones with their teeny tiny immune systems. But don’t despair. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep everyone happy and healthy when cold and flu season strikes. Here are our winter survival hacks for your family.
Get snug as a bug
Biting temperatures call for getting cosy in chunky knits and endless hat-scarf-gloves-combos. But instead of throwing one thick jumper on to brave the cold, layer up for ultimate insulation. Don’t underestimate the power of thermals, either. (Check out our seriously snug snowsuits to keep your little bean toasty when out in the nippiest of temperatures.)
Oh, and as for blasting the heating – forget it! Though it can be tempting to whack up the thermostat when it’s frosty outside, going OTT on the central heating can trigger bouts of winter dehydration, leaving your body pretty dang parched. Try to keep your house between 16 and 22 degrees, and use draught excluders to retain the heat. You could even invest in a humidifier to establish a temperature balance.
Now, wash your hands
Beat the winter blahs by frequently washing your paws – and encourage your tots to do the same. Nothing fancy is required; all you need is bar of soap and warm water. Work up a lather and wash hands for about 30 seconds. Teach your younglings to do this before eating and after using the bathroom. Don’t forget to give fingernails a scrub, too – this is where icky germs tend to lurk. On the go? No problemo. Use anti-bacterial hand gel and wipes to keep the family healthy and bacteria-free.
With winter in full force, it’s even more important to wet your whistle with plenty of water. H20 helps transport vital nutrients around the body, as well as eliminate waste toxins. Allowing your body to become dehydrated will leave you vulnerable to catching the lurgy, so aim for 8 large glasses per day. (Water really is the secret to optimal health, isn’t it?) Your little one’s not a fan of straight-up water? Avoid filling them up on fruit juice (a.k.a. liquid sugar) if possible, and offer a chilled glass of sugar-free squash instead. Better still, jazz up water with citrus fruits and berries – a sneaky yet delicious hack to encourage them to guzzle more.
Look after tootsies
Trudging around in heavy winter boots can leave feet – big and small – crying out for a dose of TLC. The antidote? Moisturise your tootsies daily to keep fungi and cracked heels at bay. Plus, it’s a lovely act of self-care – and who doesn’t need more of that in the winter months? Make a conscious effort to wear 100% cotton socks, too. This will give tiny toes the best kinda hug this winter.
Eating a varied, rainbow-coloured diet – one that’s chock-full of fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins – is the secret to defending your family against invading germs this winter. Vitamin C is a stormtrooper when it comes to boosting immunity. An antioxidant, this supercharged nutrient protects cells from free-radical damage. Added bonus: vitamin C helps with iron absorption, too – another nutrient needed for healthy immune function. For a whack of vitamin C goodness, get the whole family munching on grapefruits, lemons, and apples.
Clock enough sleep
If you really want to equip your family with the tools to fight infection, you need to think beyond mealtimes. Clocking enough restorative slumber is also vitally important for immunity. Did you know sleep deprivation – that is, less than 7 hours each night – could render you more susceptible to catching the office bug? If you want to be in good nick all-year round, don’t sacrifice sleep. You should aim for 7-9 hours of quality rest every single night, while toddlers need around 10 to 14 hours per day.
When there’s a bite in the air, it can be easy to hide away in indoors and put exercise on the backburner. But working out is fuel for your immune defences. Physical activity actually reduces the risk of upper respiratory tract infections and common colds. With that in mind, try to keep the whole family moving in the winter months. Take the dog for a walk, go ice-skating, make a game out of household chores, or crank up the Christmas music and boogie on down. Who said exercising can’t be super fun?!