Goodbye summer, it looks like those colder months are well and truly on their way. The days are getting cooler, the nights are getting longer and we also battling the thought of COVID-19.
Here are some simple tips to keep yourself and your family healthy throughout the colder months.
Washing Your Hands
This is an obvious one. We all know washing our hands is the number one way to stop the spread of germs on a daily basis. But are you doing it properly? It is recommended to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (that’s two rounds of singing ‘Happy Birthday’) and making sure you remember both sides of the hands, fingers, thumbs and wrists. Teach children early on the importance of regular hand washing, especially after using the toilet and before eating. Out and about with no access to soap and water? Keep a handy bottle of hand-santitiser in your bag for those unexpected moments.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are power-packed, low in calories and protect us from major and minor illnesses. Aim to eat at least 5 servings a day and don’t be afraid to stock up your freezer with foods that are out of season to get that constant flow of veggie goodness in every meal. Delicious winter-warming foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes can hit the right spot but are easy to over-serve. Watch your portion size by using smaller plates or waiting 20 minutes before heading back for seconds.
You might not feel the need to grab that cold glass of water to cool you down like you did in the summer, but staying hydrated is hugely important to maintain your physical health. Dehydration leaves you at a higher risk of catching cold and flu so maybe warm yourself up by grabbing a glass of hot water and lemon, the perfect pick-me-up for a chilly day.
Boost Your Immune System
The cooler months leave our bodies more susceptible to picking up infection, common cold or the dreaded flu. Investing in vitamin supplements can help boost those tiny soldiers in your body and get them ready to fight whatever comes along. As well as considering supplements, fill your fruit bowl with Vitamin C packed feijoas, oranges and lemons. Dark leafy greens and red or yellow vegetables are a fantastic addition to your diet too as they are high in antioxidants, iron and zinc and aid your body’s path to peak condition.
We know that dragging yourself out of bed on a cool morning to do exercise can be absolute torture! But maintaining a regular exercise routine throughout the next few months will have significant benefits to your health. You can still stay warm and get those endorphins rushing by doing some exercise in the comfort of your own home. Better still, wrap up warm and get outside with the kids – not only will you enjoy the time together outside but those glorious glimpses of sunshine can massively improve your mood and mental health.
Look After Your Mind
Being cooped up inside is a sure-fire way to start feeling a little blue. As well as physical health and fitness don’t forget to look after your mind. Be sure to make plans and have things to look forward to, think about hobbies that you have always wanted to try and stay in touch with loved ones throughout the year. These precious moments will also help to decrease stress levels which have a negative effect on both the body and mind – and who wants that?
Bring some light and joy into those dull, cloudy days and remember, don’t just survive the chillier seasons, enjoy them!