This winter could be a difficult time for children – we have the prospect of more stringent Covid-19 measures coming in, with the disruption to school and home life that go with it. With non-essential businesses closed and the weather at its coldest and wettest, their chances to play, meet friends and burn off energy are severely reduced. Today we’re taking a look at getting through this season while keeping your kids as healthy and happy as possible.
When indoor businesses may have to close or restrict their services, outdoor spaces are the solution we have to turn to for play, exercise and socialising. It’s not as easy in the winter, but you shouldn’t write it off entirely! A winter walk has its own pleasures, and as long as you dress appropriately for the weather, you’ll quickly forget the cold – and even the rain! Recent research has discovered that people in Nordic countries, facing even longer, darker and colder winters than we do, develop resilience by focusing on the unique opportunities that winter does bring to us, not the opportunities we leave behind in the summer.
As long as you wrap up warm, you and your kids can enjoy time outdoors – either as a family bonding activity, as a way to exercise and burn off some energy (helping to ensure good behaviour and regular sleep!), and a safe way to meet friends! Spending time in natural spaces can also help to lift your mood, so if you’re feeling weighed down by the news, by the stresses of this year and this season, getting outdoors may help to lighten your load.
With stretches of cold, dry weather, and celebrations that seem to contain more than their fair share of salty, unhealthy food, and sticky, sugary drinks, it can easy be to spend the winter in a state of continual, low grade dehydration. As dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness – mental and physical, and even muscle cramps, it’s important to make sure both you and your children keep properly hydrated this winter.
As well as topping up on water (rather than less healthy soft drink alternatives), you might need to top up their electrolytes. These are the salts dissolved in your body’s water reserves that your body uses for all sorts of important tasks – maintaining fluid balance in cells, transmitting nerve impulses to muscles, even regulating mood!
It’s well worth keeping a fast rehydration product in your medicine cabinet to make sure your children can rehydrate with medical efficiency when they really need to, and feel healthier and happier as a result!