Keeping your family healthy during the winter can seem like a challenge, but this winter especially. So, how can everyone in your household stay healthy in the midst of flu season and a pandemic? Let’s take a look.
Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter
Wash Your Hands:
Pandemic or not, the most important thing you can do to stay healthy this winter is to wash your hands. Washing your hands helps prevent the spread of illness, and should be done before you eat, after you use the bathroom and after coughing or sneezing into your hands.
Make Healthy Choices:
A healthy diet can help keep you healthy during cold and flu season. The National Institutes of Health recommends eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, lean protein and whole grains. If you can, consider choosing treats that have less added sugar and fat. Also, keep an eye on your portion sizes. If you have questions about vitamins or supplements, speak with your doctor.
It can be difficult to stay active during the winter when all you want to do is curl up under a blanket, but even moderate exercise can help you stay healthy. This includes things like yard work, climbing stairs or going for a brisk walk. You could take walks outdoors or if the weather isn’t cooperating, walking around your house or a store works too.
Keep Your Distance:
Especially this year, keep your distance from others not in your direct household. Even though it’s been advised not to shake hands during the pandemic, you might want to also consider avoiding handshaking during a non-pandemic cold and flu season. Don’t know what to do instead? Try elbow bumps or a wave.
Keep in mind too, that respiratory illnesses like colds, flus or COVID spread via the air, so when a sick person breathes, talks, sneezes, etc., the virus spreads easily.
Clean Frequently Touched Surfaces:
Bacteria and viruses can hang around on surfaces for hours and even days, so even though you wash your hands appropriately, you can still come in contact with a virus or bacteria if you touch a dirty surface. Clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, faucets, keyboards or remotes using a diluted bleach solution or a disinfecting product.
Stay Home When Sick:
If you or your child is sick, stay home. The type of illness you have will dictate how long you should stay home. If you’re sick, avoid preparing your family’s food and try as best you can to stay in one room, if you can.
Following the above suggestions can help keep you and your family healthy during the winter months. If you have questions about your health, talk to a healthcare professional.