Tips for Keeping Your Family Healthy This Winter Naturally

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.

With winter coming quickly, many parents are already anticipating the illness that typically comes with it. Here in Colorado, we’ve had hailstorms all summer and we saw our first slow flurries yesterday with the rain, and it’s only September.But with these tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally, not only will you not have to worry about the dreaded winter sickness, you can rest assured that you have solutions for any nose or throat tickles without having to resort to medications.

Typical Illness and Treatment


The common cold affects millions of people every year. In fact, the average adult will catch it at least two or three times every winter, not to mention our little ones. I remember a time in my life when I would go to the store to stock up on cough drops, NyQuil, decongestants and throat spray, like every other American, when it started getting chilly outside. I just anticipated feeling lousy and therefore stocked up on what I felt like we needed to get through.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to fight viruses and bacteria without resorting to antibiotics or pharmaceuticals. Honestly, all of those medications just dulled the symptoms a tad, but did absolutely nothing to fight the illness. Even antibiotics fight sickness by taking out your entire immune system. It’s kind of like setting fire to your whole house to get rid of a couple mice.

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Some Real Solutions

Fortunately I now know how to take care of myself naturally all year long, so when the winter comes, my body is strong and healthy and illness isn’t a worry. Getting colds are a normal part of your body battling the germs it encounters in your environment, especially with children and their immature immune systems. The mild symptoms are nothing to worry about.

What’s really troublesome, though, is when the symptoms take you down and prevent you from functioning normally. However, by employing some of the easy tips I provide for you below, I don’t even have to worry about my kids. The moment anyone in our family starts to exhibit the first runny nose, it is gone before we could even suggest that they might have a cold.

Let’s look at how you can keep everyone healthy and thriving in your household this winter too!

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by Lauren Kay on Unsplash

Catch Up on Your Sleep

Hitting the hay at a reasonable hour is one of the easiest things you can do to help keep your immune system going strong. Think of sleep as refueling your body. As a mother with two small children, I know from experience that not getting enough sleep drags you down in a variety of ways. You feel like a zombie, you have no energy to function, your brain is all foggy and you have trouble thinking or speaking, and on top of it all, your body can’t function like it normally does.

You may get heartburn or indigestion easier, you find yourself yawning a lot because you aren’t breathing as deeply, your joints may ache, and your immune system takes a serious hit. This is the very first place you should consider improving if you are getting sick. Sleep is the time for your body to repair and heal from the beating it gets during the day.

Get at least eight to ten hours sleep a night, if possible, to prevent your immune system from weakening and making you more susceptible to illnesses of any kind. Because immune cells are most active during the sleep cycle, a good night’s rest is essential. If you feel you’re coming down with something, get some rest–it strengthens the immune response.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Improve Your Diet by Eating Healthy

A diet that is full of whole foods, like whole grains, full fat dairy, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables, will go a long way in keeping you healthy this winter. But just adding good wholesome foods to your diet isn’t enough. You’ve got to choose foods that are nourishing to your body all day long, rather than foods with empty calories or processed foods that contain very little nutrition.

Processed foods encourage chronic illness and disease because they’re high in refined sugar, refined carbohydrates, and artificial ingredients, and are also low in nutrients and fiber. Eating processed foods promotes insulin resistance and chronic inflammation in your body, which are the hallmarks of most chronic and/or serious illness and disease. The solution to improving your health and preventing illness is often as simple as swapping processed foods for real food.

And most of all, excess sugar in your diet suppresses your body’s immune response so it literally can’t fight for you when you need it the most. Try adding dark leafy greens, fresh berries, onions, garlic, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon to your recipes whenever you can. Giving your body the essential vitamins and minerals it needs strengthens your immune system and makes you less prone to getting ill in the first place.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Drink the Right Amount of Water

I’m sure you knew this was coming. Hydration is essential any time of the year, but it’s especially important when dry winter air tends to zap away moisture. Staying hydrated has a huge effect on how your body functions as it’s important not only for your cognitive health but also for helping to regulate your digestion.

Around 60% of your body is made up of water. To function properly, all the cells and organs of your body need water. Your blood is 90% water and carries oxygen to all parts of your body. Water helps to form saliva and mucus. Saliva helps us digest our food and keeps the mouth, nose, and eyes moist. This prevents friction and damage. Drinking water also keeps the mouth clean.

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Water regulates your body temperature, the digestive system depends on it, and your airways need it. When dehydrated, your airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make asthma and allergies worse. It also makes any minerals and nutrients you eat accessible to your body. These dissolve in water, which makes it possible for them to reach different parts of the body for use.

Water is literally essential to keeping your body functioning properly. Your joints won’t even work without the proper amount of water, your immune system then definitely can’t protect you like it’s designed to do if you’re not drinking enough. So how much should you be drinking? They say to aim for 8-10 8oz glasses a day. Your regular drinking up is already two servings. You can do it!

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by Veronica Kei on Unsplash

Find Ways to Stay Active in the Cold

Don’t use the cold winter months as an excuse to stay in and lounge around. Instead, get out with the whole family to try out a new activity –maybe ice skating, or taking a bracing winter walk on the beach or through the park. The winter months offer their own fun opportunities to get outside and enjoy the weather rather than avoiding it. Go out and look at Christmas lights, enjoy some hot chocolate while going to an outdoor movie, play in the snow and make snowmen together.

You don’t have to hit the gym to stay active. Maybe you just bundle up and go to the park or go for a bike ride. Either way, regular exercise contributes to good health as well as a healthy immune system by getting your blood pumping, which supplies more oxygen to all parts of your body. Another way it may do so is by supporting gut health and immune function. Additionally, getting up and moving may help you catch more quality sleep.

If you can’t get outside, that doesn’t mean you have to stop moving. Check out these Fun Activities for You and Your Kids When It’s Too Cold to Go Outside. Whatever you do, make it fun. Maybe you can build an indoor fort with the dining table or couch together, do a fun campout in the kitchen with the Fun Holiday Snacks to Make With Your Kids, or maybe you an even make some yummy dishes as a family, like cinnamon rolls in the morning and chili at night and enjoy them on the floor in the living room in front of a great movie.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by Alexandre Croussette on Unsplash

Keep Your Body Moisturized

It can be challenging to take proper care of your skin, even under the best of circumstances. But in winter months when the weather turns cold and humidity levels drop, keeping your skin hydrated might become even more difficult. By taking extra care to keep your skin moisturized, you can avoid chapping, itchiness, and cracking.

But what does that have to do with staying healthy? On its own, dry skin may not seem like a big deal. However, cracks in your skin, openings due to scratching, and sores like eczema and dermatitis make you more susceptible to illness. All of those vulnerabilities in the surface of your skin are annoying enough on their own, but they also create areas that allow germs and bad bacteria into your body.

However, keeping your body moisturized this winter is easier than it sounds. Applying a good body lotion morning and night, after a nice soothing shower and before you go to sleep will go a long way towards helping. You could even use a thicker body butter during the night to keep you from itching, and heal your skin overnight. Consider taking some nice hot soothing baths. Here are 10 Great Naturally Soothing Bath Recipes that will help keep you moisturized, and of course, drinking that water!

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by PNG Design on Unsplash

Be More Positive and Smile More!

It’s a well-known fact that a positive attitude can boost your immune system. However, new research has actually now confirmed it for us. The study, which tracked changes in optimism and immune response among first-year law students, found that as students became more optimistic, they showed stronger cell-mediated immunity, the flood of immune cells that respond to an invasion by foreign viruses or bacteria. When optimism dropped, so did this immunity. This makes sense, as everything from marital spats to job stress can delay your body’s healing and promote disease.

Stress is inevitable, and occasional stress is actually good for you. But, prolonged stress weakens the immune system.Technically, it floods your body with stress hormones preventing it from functioning normally and protecting you the way it should be. By simply purposing to smile at everyone every day and think more positively about your life, yourself, and your circumstances, you are training your body to lower your stress levels and release endorphins on a regular basis.

The simple power of positive thoughts can produce health-enhancing biochemicals superior to any that a pharmaceutical company could ever manufacture…without any adverse side effects. Make an effort to smile more, look at the bright side, and constantly remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for, and you will literally be boosting your immune system and contributing to better health for your body.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

Enjoy Some Hot Tea

I think everyone knows that drinking tea on a regular basis is good for you, especially if you don’t load it down with white sugar first. However, did you know that you could treat a variety of illnesses and diseases by drinking tea? Nature is full of wonderful medicinal herbs and plants that can offer relief for gas or nausea, for instance, and heal a respiratory illness. You can also reduce or reverse the signs of aging and prevent or even heal cancer with the right herbal teas.

Chamomile, echinacea and thyme tea are the best for treating coughs, sore throats, and relieving symptoms of the flu and the common cold. Did you know that some teas are even known for flushing the toxins out of your system, from environmental toxins, chemical toxins and even the ones found in your food, preventing them from hurting you and causing disease in your body. Check out my article on the 12 Teas to Healing for more specific information on all of the best teas for your health, what they treat, and how to make them yourself.

Spoiler alert: Echinacea has been identified as having anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties and as an immune-strengthening agent. Echinacea tea is an extremely popular remedy that is said to prevent and even get rid of the common cold. Evidence has shown that echinacea helps to boost your immune system, which could help your body fight off viruses or other infections. It is also known for its ability to fight the flu.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Don’t Be Afraid of Germs

For so many people, the winter means staying indoors and away from any possible germs and lots of cleaning. All of the articles you will find online about staying healthy during the winter will talk about frequent hand washing, using hand sanitizer before and after every activity throughout the day, and wiping down all surfaces you might touch, like shopping baskets.

Unfortunately, by getting too crazy with it, you are killing every chance your body has to develop immunities and stay healthy. I’m not talking about visiting any chicken pox parties any time soon. However, while it’s wise to wash your hands with soap and water before eating and after doing anything gross or messy, washing too frequently can cause dry, cracked skin, giving sickness a direct link into your bloodstream.

Hand sanitizer is evil stuff as it not only kills all of the bad sickness-causing bacteria on your skin, it also kills all of the good bacteria your body produces for fighting off all of the bad stuff, leaving you more vulnerable than you may have been before using it. And wiping down all surfaces throughout the day prevents your body from being exposed to any small amounts of germs that your body uses to develop stronger immunities. Cleanliness is good, but don’t overdo it this winter.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by Cooper Le on Unsplash

Get Everyone Outdoors

While you are spending more time indoors this winter trying to avoid germs, keep in mind you are also locking yourself up with the mold spores, pet dander, chemical cleaners, and dust mites inside your house. When you consider that most homes are sealed up tight and ventilation is lacking, it’s no surprise that allergies can flare up during the winter months.

So get everyone outside! Sunlight, and the vitamin D that it provides, has been proven to have many amazing benefits for your body. First of all, sunlight is great for boosting your mood, which we know lowers stress levels and increases endorphins. Being exposed to sunlight during the day helps your body to release melatonin to help you sleep at night. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression.

Sunlight helps to boost your immune system, and is even used as a medical treatment (light therapy) for conditions like psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and thyroiditis. If you simply can’t get outside, like you are snowed in, or the weather is really bad, consider these Helpful Cleaning Tips to Beat the Flu Season.

Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.
Photo by Tyler Delgado on Unsplash

The wintertime can be a time to fret, stress and worry, trying to keep everyone clean and hide from all of the germs, or you can be proactive, and take healthy measures now for keeping everyone in your family healthy. By simply increasing some habits that you already know to be healthy like drinking more water, getting more sleep and being active, you can stay sickness free this season.

Don’t discount the importance of the foods your put into your mouth, the moisturizing that you need to do to protect your skin, and not over-protecting yourselves from the germs in your environment if you truly want to stay healthy.

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I can only hope that some of these tips help you to protect you and your family this cold season, like they have helped me and my family to stay healthy for years now. germs aren’t scary and they are not to be avoided, but you have to make sure that you are strong in every other area of your life in order for them to be beneficial rather than harmful. Take care of yourself and you’ll reap the rewards of your efforts immediately. Good luck!

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Check out these great tips for keeping your family healthy this winter naturally. You'll be pleasantly surprised how easy it really is to stay healthy.

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