Winter can be quite an enjoyable and magical time of year, but the cold can take a toll on you and your family’s health, and may even prove fatal. In the US, there are about 1,320 deaths per year attributed to hypothermia or exposure to extreme cold. Even if you stay indoors to avoid direct contact with cold wind and snow to prevent hypothermia and frostbite, you and your family members are still very much susceptible to getting sick. So let’s take a look at the different ways that you and your family can stay healthy and happy during winter, or when you’re staying/vacationing somewhere that’s snowing all-year round:
Never Skip Breakfast
On cold winter mornings, there’s nothing you’d want to do more than stay cozy in bed with all your blankets and layers. Unfortunately, this not only makes preparing breakfast difficult but makes it way harder for you to wake up your kids and the elderly to eat the breakfast you prepared. But in these cold times, skipping meals (especially breakfast) can end up making your family cold, weak, and more vulnerable to getting sick as you don’t have the proper nutrition and the calories to stay warm and function. It’s also not enough for you to simply whip up milk and cereal for everyone, you’d want to serve a breakfast filled with proteins and vitamins to fuel your family and help their immune systems fend off diseases. As such, every other meal served during winter should be healthy, so skip the sugary stuff and junk food.
Always Wash Your Hands
The last thing you’d want to do during cold winter months is to get wet. But it’s necessary to teach your kids and everyone in the household to wash their hands frequently to prevent transmission of diseases. If one of your family members do get sick, it’s important to stock up on hand sanitizers, and it wouldn’t harm you to wear disposable face masks.
Play In the Cold
If there aren’t any blizzards, extreme cold winds, and other harsh weather conditions, going outside for a stroll, building a snowman, sledding, or any other winter activities could do wonders to you and your family in staying healthy during winter. Just make sure that everyone’s dressed properly and with enough layers to keep warm and dry before going out and having fun. Alternatively, if it’s too cold outside, or weather conditions don’t permit it, try to find ways to stay active inside your home. Do Zumba, dance, or play games that are physically engaging, which could help you stay warm and prevent you from getting sick due to inactivity.
Keeping hydrated allows for your bodily functions to work properly, that includes your immune system and helps flush out any toxins in your body. Cold water may not be appealing for you and your family to drink, so try preparing warm beverages such as tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or simply stock up on warm water for you to drink comfortably.
Get the Proper Amount of Sleep
In winter, it might not be hard for you or your kids to fall asleep due to the cold. Regardless, it’s important for everyone to get the right amount of sleep during winter for the body to properly rest and recover. This also means that you’d want to avoid over-sleeping as it may prevent you from getting breakfast or be hydrated on time.
Winter can be a difficult time for your family to stay healthy and avoid getting sick, but with these simple tips in mind, it doesn’t have to be. Although there are medicines your family can take to fight off flu, prevention is still cheaper and more convenient than cure. If you live somewhere like the Spanish Fork, Utah that averages at 51 inches of snow annually, you’d want to have a family medicine physician on your contact list so that if anyone does fall ill, it can be addressed immediately before it gets worse due to the cold.