If you have children, it’s natural to want them to lead long, happy, healthy lives. Sometimes, when you’re juggling work, childcare, and running a household, making healthy lifestyle choices isn’t easy, but being healthy doesn’t have to involve a drastic overhaul. Here are some really simple ways to ensure your family is fighting fit.
What you eat has a major bearing on your health, and as parents, it’s always beneficial to set a good example. If you tend to reach for the takeout menu or buy ready-made meals, switching to home cooking will have benefits for the whole family. When you cook, you have control over what goes into your food, and you can also monitor portion sizes. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a master chef. There are hundreds of simple, nutritious recipes available online, and you can build your repertoire as you become more confident.
Cooking at home can also save you money and enable you to spend more time together as a family. When you’re stocking up on groceries, make an effort to focus on nutrition, and cut down on processed, fatty foods. Use healthier cooking methods, for example, grilling, roasting, steaming, and baking, rather than frying, and aim for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. If you’re short on time during the week, batch cooking is a great idea.
Keeping up to date with health checks is important for each and every member of the family. If your kids are due an eye test, you haven’t had your blood pressure checked for a while, or it has been at least a year since you went to your local dental office, now is the time to make a few calls. Regular dental checks reduce the risk of gum disease and decay dramatically, eye tests are essential for monitoring vision and identifying changes early, and it’s also wise to keep an eye on your blood pressure and BMI (body mass index).
The CDC suggests that inactivity can be even more harmful than obesity when it comes to the risk of developing serious health conditions. If you spend your free time watching movies or playing computer games with your kids, make a conscious effort to be more active. Go for long walks or bike rides at the weekends, make the most of your outdoor space, and leave the car in the garage if you need something from the local store or you’re visiting friends in the same neighborhood.
Ideally, you should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Being active has incredible physical health benefits, but it can also improve mental health in children and adults. There are loads of fun activities you can do as a family, including beach and park games, walking and hiking, swimming, playing tennis, kayaking and canoeing, climbing, cycling, and trampolining.
Are you eager to get in shape, or are you keen to improve your diet? If you don’t have the healthiest lifestyle at the moment, making changes will undoubtedly have a positive impact on your family as a whole. Keep up to date with health checks, focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet, and get your bodies moving more.