Mother and Baby

5 Surprising Things That Could Stop Your Family Staying Healthy This Winter

While it can be tempting to turn your house into a sauna, curl up on the sofa and demolish an entire box of Quality Streets, it isn’t good for you

Trying to stay healthy and look after yourself can be tricky at the best of times, not to mention when it’s freezing cold outside.

We’ve rounded up the things you shouldn’t be doing this winter, to keep you any your family happy and healthy – whatever the weather.

1. Resist the urge to turn up the heating

As cold as it may be, try not to whack the heating on full blast – it isn’t great for your family’s health.

‘If the house is too hot it can lead to increased tiredness and it can dry out your skin as well,’ says private health visitor Julia Headland. ‘Try and keep the house temperature between 16 and 21°C and use draught excluders to stop heat disappearing from the rooms.’

Stay warm by piling on some extra layers and move around often to get your blood flowing.

As cold as it may be, try not to whack the heating on full blast – it isn’t great for your family’s health

2. Don’t hide indoors

When the weather’s horrible, it is tempting to shut yourself up indoors but try not to be a couch potato just because it’s chilly. 

‘Lack of sunlight and the short days can lead to a drop in mood,’ explains Julia. So, make sure your family leave the house at least once a day to enjoy some natural light and fresh air. A good brisk walk can do a world of good. That said…

3. Try not to tire yourself out

It’s natural to sleep more than often during the winter months as it’s darker for longer which makes you naturally tired. Take advantage and rest up.

‘Over exhausting yourself can lower your immune system,’ says Julia. ‘Make sure that if you are busy with work or children, have early nights or at least try to get to bed before 11pm if you can.’

4. Step away from the comfort food…

…and instead rustle up some healthy meals.

It’s easy to just guzzle a packet of biscuits or put a ready meal in the microwave, but cooking a nutritious homemade meal will keep you fighting fit and help you fend off nasty winter bugs.

Have a look at our recipe section for some great ideas.

It’s also important to keep yourself and your family hydrated. A good rule is every time you eat, have at least a glass or two of water at the same time.

5. Don’t forgo your exercise regime

If you’re a swimmer or a runner, slacking off in the winter is easily done. After all, who wants to run in the cold, dark mornings? But try to find ways around the weather, rather than ditching your workout completely. Maybe switch your pavement pounding for a session on a treadmill, or take up online exercise classes.

What are your secret health sappers? Let us know below.  

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