Winter Checklist

How to Stay Off the Sick List this Season

Because everyone’s lives seem to move in fast forward when winter is in full swing, the likelihood of getting the sniffles—or something worse— is inevitable.  Just because colds and flu rev up in the wintertime, it doesn’t mean we all have to hide under the covers and watch the season pass us by.

The last thing families want to do is miss out on special holiday gatherings, that upcoming Taekwondo seminar or the Class A Tournament Series event.  That’s why staying healthy is key.

Here are a few tips for keeping your family healthy this winter!


Drink The Good Stuff….Water!

We all know that drinking plenty of H20 is very important for staying hydrated, especially during those intense sparring drills.  It also helps with digestion, circulation and transportation of nutrients throughout your body.   But, if you’re drinking out of a reusable sports bottle, it can be not so healthy.  Just like any wet surface, bottles can harbor some harmful bacteria.  Jenny Sugar, Fitness Editor of says if the bottle is dishwasher-safe, toss it in the machine.  If it isn’t, rinse thoroughly with warm water and soap.  Invest in a bottle brush that allows you to scrub deep inside your bottle, particularly if it has a narrow mouth.  Don’t forget to clean the cap and straw, too, and allow it dry overnight.


Lather Up!

Wash your hands often!  Adults get close to three colds a year on average, and some last up to a week or two. For kids the number per year is much higher.  Whether you are at home, in the car, at school or in martial arts class, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and water for 20 seconds.  For kids, a great tip is to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing the back of the hands, between the fingers and under the nails.  Not around soap and water?  Carry a portable bottle of hand sanitizer that contains 60 percent alcohol.  Keep in mind, though, these gels can build up on hands which prevent it from getting to germs.  It’s always a good idea to add “real” handwashing to your routine.


Steer Clear of the Germs

Sharing is not caring during cold and flu season. Try to limit exposure to people who you know are (or have been around) someone infected.  And vice versa.  If you are sick, please limit your contact with others.  Remember, it’s okay to miss school and even Taekwondo, to keep yourself and other’s out of harm’s way. 


Disinfect Away

One sick kid or parent can infect the whole family and pesky germs can live for hours on inanimate objects.  Grab a can of disinfectant and get to spraying those toys, doorknobs, remote controls, computer keyboards, cell phones, hand rails, faucets, toilet handles, etc.  It’s also a good idea to keep the sick party’s laundry from the rest of the family and also keep toothbrushes and other items like that separate.  Use hot water and the highest dryer setting for laundry.


Have Weapons to Fight

One of the first lines of defense against illness is having a strong immune system. Having a balanced diet, combined with a probiotic and regular multi-vitamins can be just the right recipe for a healthier winter.  In “Stay Healthy All Winter” from Parent’s Magazine, Michelle Crouch says to make sure the family eats lean protein and a medley of colorful fruits and veggies, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamins, and cut down on sugar.  That might be difficult at holiday get-togethers, but try to watch portion control and “eat to fill satisfied” rather than overindulging and you will likely make smarter choices.  This will also keep you from feeling too weighed down for that martial arts workout!


Take these preventative measure during this cold weather season and make sure your winter is packed with happy, healthy holidays that are germ-free.  Cheers!



Author: Lauren James (edited by Jenny Wolff) 

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