Everyone knows the importance of staying active and trying to remain healthy. By doing so yourself, you can set a positive example for your kids. It’s also important to remain healthy as a family and practice habits that promote health and wellness in addition to staying active.
Every April, the American Heart Association promotes “Move More Month.” It’s an effort to get families moving, even in small ways, by showcasing the benefits of movement and activity.
Taking your family’s health seriously is important, especially with childhood obesity on the rise. It’s additionally important to make it through scary and uncertain times, like the Coronavirus pandemic that has swept the globe. Now, more than ever, it’s time to make healthy choices including physical activity a priority. How can you do that?
Let’s look at a few tips.
Nutrition & Exercise
You’ve probably heard the saying “you are what you eat.” There’s some truth to that, at least when it comes to practicing proper nutrition. Foods that are overly-processed or laden with fat, sodium, and sugar can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and heart conditions as well as cause you to feel fatigued.
By making a few dietary changes to your family’s menu, you can make a big difference. Remember: you control the food that comes into your house. Start with healthy options. From there, you can make healthy eating fun for the entire family. Try doing the following things:
- Letting each family member choose their own healthy snack
- Getting kids involved in cooking
- Being a role model by eating healthily yourself
- Eating dinner together as a family
- Always keeping healthy snacks in view
These subtle changes can add up quickly, improving your family’s overall nutrition and giving a boost to their health. You might find they’ll have more energy. In addition, dietary changes like boosting your protein and drinking more water can even benefit their hair and skin!
Food is just part of the equation. You have to keep moving! Thankfully, there are little things you can do each day to be more active and encourage the rest of your family to do the same.
Set activity goals each week, and have each member of your family do the same. Maybe your goal will be to bike to work each day to boost your brainpower and concentration or to walk for 150 minutes throughout the week. When everyone sets their own goal, they’re more likely to stick to their activities to achieve it.
You can also incorporate physical activity into the things you already do each day. Do you have a garden? What about other yard work that needs to be done? Get your kids involved in tending to outdoor chores. It’s a great way to get moving, and when you’re done, you can enjoy a game of catch together.
Staying active together boosts bonding within families, and it can also encourage everyone to keep moving. It’s easier to stick to physical activity when you have a “buddy” encouraging you along. When you have your whole family involved, you can all be there to motivate each other.
Getting Enough Rest
Finding downtime to relax and sleep is incredibly important for your health and as well as that of your family. Most adults need an average of eight hours of sleep each night while kids usually need anywhere from ten to twelve hours for their bodies to function properly.
It’s not just about sleep, however. It’s about finding a balance so you can find more restful moments. Rest is important for reducing stress and spending more time with your family. Many people find it difficult to achieve a work-life balance, so it’s important to let go of the stresses of your job each day when you come home. You can do that by trying these things:
- Exercising lightly for 20 minutes after work
- Pouring yourself a calming cup of tea
- Listening to your favorite music
- Turning off your phone and disconnecting
These tips can help you to unwind so you can be more relaxed and focused on your family when you’re at home. As you reduce the stress from your workplace when you’re home, you might also start to find that it’s easier to develop healthy sleep habits. It’s a positive cycle that you can put into practice right away by not bringing your worries of work home with you.
Staying Healthy at Home
Many people participate in spring cleaning, but you should make an effort to keep your home clean and safe all year long. Keeping your house clean can help cut down on allergens within the home. If you have a family member with respiratory issues, that can make a big difference. Make sure your air filters are changed regularly and that your HVAC system is properly maintained.
Things you use every day around the house are dirtier than you might think. Your cell phone, for example, can be a breeding ground for bacteria because your hands are touching it all day. Because 80% of all infections are transmitted through hands and touching, your phone could be a huge health hazard. Think of other areas in the home that are frequently touched:
- Faucet handles
- Light switches
These surfaces need to be disinfected as much as possible to prevent the spread of germs. You’ve probably been thinking a lot more about these issues with the recent Coronavirus pandemic at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but it’s important to keep these sanitary habits all the time.
If you’re trying to make improvements on your home, make sure you take the proper steps to keep everyone safe and healthy. Remodeling can be fun, but check for things like asbestos or mold as you’re getting started. If your family breathes in these substances, it could cause serious, lasting health issues.
There are so many things you can do on a daily basis to keep your family healthy, happy, and active. It all starts at home, so keep these tips in mind and make a commitment to healthier choices and habits that will keep your family well.