With winter fast approaching, I’m doing everything I can to try to keep myself and my family healthy. I had some sort of flu bug last winter, and let me tell you, it is HARD to take care of and run around after a baby when you are sick! And then of course, it’s inevitable that the baby also gets sick, and that’s even worse! So this year I’m doing my best to keep us all happy and healthy, all winter long. Here are my top six tips to stay healthy this winter!
6 Tips To Stay Healthy This Winter
Drink a lot of water
It’s always important to stay hydrated, but especially so in winter! Winters are always really dry here in Chicago when the heaters kick on, and all that dry air in the house really dehydrates me. So make sure you keep up with the water so that you don’t get dried out.
Get a lot of rest
We all tend to be busier during winter, especially with the holidays, but don’t forget to get enough sleep! Aim for 7-8 hours a night, but if you can’t do that, try to at least keep your wake up time consistent, then go to bed a half hour early the next day if you can. A consistent wake up time can help set your body on a “cycle” so your sleep schedule doesn’t spiral out of control. And remember, a well rested body can fight off illness better than a sleep deprived one!
It might seem harder to get a healthy and varied diet when there’s snow covering your garden and the Farmer’s Markets are closed for the season, but there are plenty of winter fruits and vegetables you can eat to maintain a balanced diet through the winter! A balanced diet can help support your immune system so you can keep those winter germs at bay.
Manage your stress levels
The holidays can certainly be a stressful time, and that stress can be hard on your body. Try to pencil in a little “me time” so that you can relax and unwind after a long, hard day. I like to take a long bath, or sit down and read a book for a little while. The mental break can help ease your stress, and both your mind and your body will thank you!
Keep up with your exercise
When it’s cold and snowy outside, it can be a lot harder to stick with your fitness routine; no one wants to go running outside in the freezing cold! But it is important to keep exercising, even in winter, because exercise is a great way to naturally boost your mood and energy levels. If you don’t want to exercise outdoors, maybe consider going to an indoor gym or yoga class for the winter months.
Wash your hands (a lot!)
Hand washing is probably the best way to keep yourself healthy during winter. Studies have shown that up to 80% of germs are transferred by touch, and frequently washing your hands can help eliminate those germs. Additionally, take a little extra time to clean commonly touched areas, like doorknobs, faucet handles, counters, etc. Even if the surface isn’t visibly dirty, bacteria can survive on surfaces like these for months and then transfer back to you when you touch them.
But did you know that antimicrobial copper surfaces are different? Antimicrobial copper is EPA-registered and proved in testing to kill 99.9% of bacteria within 2 hours of exposure. EPA tests also prove that antimicrobial copper continuously kills bacteria – even after repeated contamination. How cool is that?!
CuVerro sent me an ATP tool (the same kind used in the food and beverage industry to test machinery for hygiene and cleanliness) to test the surfaces in our home. The tool tests for the presence of adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecule found in all living things, so it can detect if there is organic matter on a surface, even if it isn’t visibly dirty.
For fun, I decided to swab the faucet handle in our downstairs bathroom to see how clean (or not clean!) it was.
JM swabbed the handle and then put the swab into the ATP tool for a reading. Now, there’s a lot of science involved in how it tests for ATP, but basically the chemicals in the swab itself react with ATP to produce light (bioluminescence) and then the ATP tool measures that light and comes back with a Relative Light Unit (RLU); the higher the RLU, the more ATP there was on the surface that was tested.
The test of our handle came back at 1346 RLU; for reference, a surface has to come back at less than 300 RLU to be considered sanitary. That means our faucet handle was DIRTY! So then we cleaned the faucet and sink like we normally would with a disinfectant wipe and tested again. This time it came back at 18 RLU, which is definitely in the “clean” range. Phew! The sink and faucet didn’t look dirty, and we do clean it regularly, but clearly it doesn’t hurt to clean your “touchable” surfaces more often!
Now I kinda wish we had copper faucets and handles. Copper’s ability to kill bacteria could make our bathroom a much cleaner, healthier environment! And just think, if antimicrobial copper were in public places like schools, hospitals, gyms, etc., that could help keep those places a lot cleaner! For more ‘Eww…‘ check out CleanAsCopper.com!
And remember, wash your hands and touchable surfaces a lot this winter to get rid of those bacteria!
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Disclosure: I received compensation from CuVerro and IZEA in exchange for my participation in this campaign, and my honest discussion of their products. But all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂