5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Family’s Health
When you have a family, taking care of them often comes before taking care of yourself. However, your own health plays a big role in your ability to be a great parent. Starting right now, you can make some changes that will improve your health as well as the health of your children and partner. Here are four easy ways to improve your family’s health.
1. Get Moving Together
Exercise doesn’t have to be a solo activity. While you might get more done at the gym on your own, kids also need exercise. Run around and play in the park or backyard with your kids. Pet parents can also do this. Your dog is sure to love a game of Frisbee or fetch at the dog park. Swap a sedentary video game for an active one with the Wii Fit. Choose walking transportation, such as walking to the bus stop or park instead of driving there. Even household chores can get everyone moving. Young kids can sweep the floor, rake leaves or fold laundry with you. So, make a move – choose some good sports gear, visit runnerclick to find out how, and be active.
2. Swap Junk Food for Healthier Options
Junk food tastes good, and sugary snacks create a sort of addiction. You can start swapping junk foods and sweetened beverages with healthier options. Instead of cupcakes, make banana or zucchini bread. Switch white potatoes with sweet potatoes, which have more vitamin A and fibre. Try olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Trade chips for air-popped popcorn with a dash of Parmesan cheese or salt-free seasoning. Swap white bread and rice for whole wheat bread, brown rice or quinoa. Brew flavoured herbal tea instead of buying juice.
3. Cook At Home
Although fast food and take-out can save you a lot of time, they also stick you with more fat and calories. Cooking at home saves money and helps children learn about healthy food and cooking methods. A three-year-old child can tear lettuce, and a six- or seven-year-old can peel carrots or potatoes. A tween should be able to mix homemade pizza dough or mix up a fresh salad dressing. Get organized by making a shopping list and meal plan. Consider freezer cooking so that you can eat a healthy dinner instead of being tempted to order take-out on a busy day. Make healthy cooking swaps, such as grilling meat or vegetables instead of frying them. Fill half your plate with raw, steamed or grilled vegetables. Fill one quarter with whole grains and the other quarter with lean protein. Reserve sweets as treats to enjoy once in a while.
4. Create a Bedtime Routine
Creating disciplined bedtime routines in kids starting very young can set them up for good sleep habits for the rest of their lives. There have been many books written on this subject from Elizabeth Pantley’s “No-Cry Sleep Solution” to Dr Ferber’s “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems.” What they all have in common is their focus on creating a repeatable, calm and orderly bedtime routine. In addition to their bedtime routines, finding the right mattress for their bodies needs is crucial to promote restful sleep. Before you just go buy a mattress from your local store, test a few out to find what they like best. If someone from your family suffers from sleeping conditions like sleep apnea, consider using a CPAP machine from CPAP Direct, to improve your sleep.
5. Focus on Active Outings As a Family
Whenever possible, spend time doing active events with your family. Laser tag, a trampoline park, ninja course, indoor rock climbing or an indoor or outdoor water park or pool are some fun options that kids will love. If you’re looking for low-cost activities to do as a family, your local parks and recreation department is a great resource. Your area may have free walking trails or community centre classes. Look for special events that involve activities for all ages. Some examples include a “howl at the moon” evening hike with your dog in a metro park, a butterfly or bird counting outing with children or a community trash pickup or park cleanup. You could also consider a family membership to a local pool or gym.