Jan 17, 2017 Post By: Children's Health

5 tips for an active, healthier winter
You can set your family up for success by following these five recommendations to make your physical activity more enjoyable in the winter weather:

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 you offset all the holiday eating, but it can also help you create new family traditions around healthier behaviors.

Following these five tips from the experts at our Get Up & Go program can help you get on the road to a healthier winter:

  1. Think layers. 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 more 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. Cold doesn’t cause colds or flu.  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. In winter, the sun reflects off snow, so it is easy for children to get sunburned while playing outside. Apply sunscreen to exposed areas just as you would in the summer.

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.

Learn more about the Children’s Health Get Up & Go program.