Winter can be fun when we rug up in our pj's and blankets by the fire and all snuggle together watching DVDs and keep warm.... but winter also brings an increase of lots of sickness and germs. Below are my 7 tips on things you can do that will help prevent your family picking up those nasty colds and flu's.
  1. Wash your hands- all day our hands touch thousands of things full of germs and then they touch our faces and bodies which is how infections can so easily start. Wash your hands very regularly throughout the day and especially when dealing with food, animals, wounds, handling garbage or being in the bathroom. As soon as you walk in the door home from being out in the car and at the shops- wash your hands. Wash all over, in between your fingers, under your nails and up to your wrist for at least 30 seconds. Click here to see this handy tip for kids hand washing- make it fun!
  2. For parents, its practically impossible to regularly get the recommended 7-8 hours sleep a night (and we don't want to hear from you who get that every night thank you haha). But the reason I say try and get sleep, is just to remind you to take every chance possible to get an extra half hour or even 2 hours if your lucky like me. On my husbands days off, I will have a sleep in one morning while he gets up with the kids and has daddy time with them. The kids love it as he has been at work all week and this is their time to have Daddy all to themselves. If your children nap at the same time (until my second child was 6 months old, my kids both napped at the same time, so if I was tired, this allowed me 30mins to an hour of sleep.... when I didn't have housework and other jobs I thought were more important). Parents need to prioritise and having some dishes in the sink or a basket of clothes to be folded isn't as important as our health and sanity. The more sleep we get, the more energy we have to be with our kids and keep fit.
  3. Drink at least 2 litres of water everyday (1 litre for children). Know how much your drink bottle holds and make sure you fill it the required amount of times throughout the day to hit your mark. Reduce other sugary drinks and caffeine (I'm not saying stop them, just reduce) and swap to water. Add lemon, lime or an orange slice to give some flavour if you find water boring. Or try for 8 glasses a day. Green tea is also a great boost for your insides, or try a cup of peppermint tea.
  4. Walk, run, exercise.... keep fit, keep moving and you keep those germs away. You will reduce the severity and length of any sickness by being more healthy and fit. Your body will fight off infections easier and you will recover faster.
  5. Eat healthy and take care of your insides as well. Cut down or cut out sugar, fatty, fried foods and replace your eating habits with fresh healthy meals and snacks. Aim for your 2 pieces of fruit and 3 serves of vegetables a day. If your not a big fruit fan, even a tablespoon of sultanas is one serving of fruit. Or mix a banana and some berries in a blender with ice or skim milk and yum- healthy meal- fruit intake for the day- done! Cut up some carrot and celery sticks to munch on through the day when your feeling a little peckish.
  6. Take a multi-vitamin. You will hear both sides with this one as some people will say if you eat in moderation and a healthy diet you don't need one. BUT no one I know eats the exact recommended food groups 365 days a year, let alone 7 days a week. It's unlikely you will eat your 2 fruits, 3 veges, protein, carbohydrate, calcium, omega 3, iron and fat requirements to a perfect quantity required each day- so taking a simple once a day multi, ensures you get the extra things you have missed. Its easy to take and can really make a difference to your health, especially if your particularly lacking and low in one area of health.
  7. Get outside into the sun and fresh air everyday. Whether you go for a stroll (I love that word haha) around the block, or spend some time playing with your kids in the yard, try each day to be outdoors for at least an hour. Can you walk the kids to school? Anything is better than nothing. But don't forget to slip slop slap when needed.
By following the tips above, you will decrease your chances of firstly, catching those nasty winter germs, but because sometimes they are unavoidable, these tips will help reduce the severity and length or your sickness.