How can my family and I stay healthy during winter?
It may only be Autumn in Australia but now is a good time to take stock of your health and consider how you can best look after yourself and your family over the coming months. Although our recommended precautions should be followed all year round, now is a good time to remind the whole family of some common sense “Winter Resolutions”!
Our “Winter Health Resolutions Checklist” offers some useful, easy tips on what measures you and your family can take to get through the winter healthier and happier.
- One of the most obvious things that some people tend to neglect is thorough washing of hands, including children. Use soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand rub. The World Health Organisation recommends washing hands for at least 30-60 seconds and ensure that you wash every part of your hands including between your fingers. Hand washing when preparing meals and before meal times is important too.
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or clean tissue. Throw away tissue after use and wash hands. Show children the correct technique too.
- Avoid touching your hands and face as much as possible.
- Avoid close proximity with others that are sick and if that’s not possible i.e. when caring for a sick family member, ensure you strictly follow steps 1 – 3 after each interaction with them.
- Talk to your health professional in regards to when (or if ) you and any family members should get a flu vaccination.
- Ensure you and your family eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables and drink water regularly.
- Exercise daily. Walk when you can or commute to work by foot or by bike. Don’t over-train if you are tired or stressed as this can impact your immunity too.
- Ensure you get plenty of sleep each night and keep devices and screens out of the bedroom for a more restful sleep. Sleep and rest are also vital for a healthy immunity.
- Wash your nose twice daily with a gentle isotonic nasal saline spray or a sinus wash. Children can use a saline nasal spray very easily too. A good time to get in the habit of using one is after brushing teeth.
Washing hands for good health is one of the most obvious steps everyone should take and makes a great deal of sense so why not wash your nose too? Using a preservative-free saline nasal spray to cleanse your nose is another simple yet positive step you can take for your health, especially during the winter months. Here’s a few good reasons why you might want to consider using one!
How might a preservative-free saline nasal spray help?*
- Helps to wash out viruses, allergens and irritants in the nose.
- Cleanses and hydrate nasal tissues which is important for the maintenance of nasal immunity.
- Can improve the effectiveness of medicated nasal sprays when the nasal saline is used first.
- Thins excess mucus in the nose and sinuses which can help relieve nasal and sinus congestion and discomfort.
! Always read the label. Follow instructions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.
*Clinical References: Ivo Šlapak, MD et al. (2008) Efficacy of Isotonic Nasal Wash (Seawater) in the Treatment and Prevention of Rhinitis in Children, Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 134(1):67-74. Liselott Tano & Krister Tano (2004) A Daily Nasal Spray with Saline Prevents Symptoms of Rhinitis, Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 124:9, 1059-1062