As the winter months approach and the temperatures get cooler, many of us hibernate and seek out our favorite comfort foods. Making time for physical activity not only helps offset all the holiday eating, but it can create new family traditions around healthier behaviors.
Following these five tips can help you get on the road to a healthier winter.
1. Layer up
Wearing layers provides better insulation and allows more freedom of movement. It's best to dress children in several thin layers — one more layer than an adult would wear -- for outside play. And remember to cover your child's face, hands and head.
2. Wear bright clothing
Don't let winter's early darkness get in the way of outdoor fun. Dress your children in bright colors for outdoor play so you can easily keep an eye on them. Reflective clothes or accessories also help children to be more visible to motorists.
3. Keep skin moisturized
Cold temperatures can dry out skin, especially children's exposed hands and faces. Bathe children in warm rather than hot water, using mild, unscented soap to avoid stripping the skin of natural oils. Apply moisturizer to the child's skin after bathing and as needed throughout the day.
4. Practice good hand hygiene
It is a myth that cold weather causes children to catch a cold or the flu. However, these viruses are more common in the winter, so make sure your child washes their hands frequently, and covers their mouth when coughing and sneezing. The best way to prevent the flu is to get an influenza vaccine for you and your family.
5. Don't forget the sunscreen
It’s still possible to get a sunburn outside in the winter. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas just as you would in the summer if you're spending time outside.
A little preparation can make the difference between your family having fun during the colder months or hibernating until the summer months. Be proactive and enjoy the fun and adventures winter brings with its colder weather. See more tips to motivate your child to exercise all year-round.
Want to learn more about healthier habits for your family? Read more about pediatric weight management programs that include Get Up & Go, COACH, bariatrics and nutrition clinics.