Keeping Your Loved Ones Health in Check!
Our family are the most important people in our lives, and when you’re a parent, their health is something that’s constantly on our minds. We live in a world where childhood obesity is common, one of the leading causes of death are preventable illnesses due to bad lifestyle, and where more of us than ever work sedentary jobs. In order to keep your family fit and healthy you need to ensure that you’re teaching them good habits to set them up for success as an adult. Here are a few ways you can go about doing it.
Eat meals together
Research has shown time and time again that eating dinner together as a family on most days a week has lots of benefits. The first is that it helps to maintain closeness. When your children feel close to you and can communicate with you how they’re feeling, they’re much more likely to open up about any issues in their lives. As parents, we like to think that we know everything there is to know about our children, but as they get older it’s simply not the case. Spending time together eating in the evening maintains close bonds and allows you all to chat and connect. Eating together as a family has been linked to lower rates of teenage pregnancy and drug use for this reason. Another reason to eat together is that you can cook healthy meals. Families that eat together tend to have lower rates of child and teen obesity, because you know exactly what’s going into your cooking. You can set a good example by filling up on healthy foods, knowing that children will eventually mirror your habits- even if they’re a little picky right now. Many adults get into the habit of feeding children and adults
separately, but do it together if you can. If your partner gets home from work a little later in the evening, give kids a healthy snack to keep them going instead of giving them their dinner.
Exercise as a family
There are plenty of great ways you can all exercise together as a family. Go on a hike, put your dog on the lead and go walking in any nearby countryside, beaches, mountains, rivers or canals. Look online for your local bike trails and go on a bike ride. You could go on a day out which will involve a lot of walking, or even just go to the park and run around together burning off energy. Take a ball or a frisbee and play some games. If your kids are a little older, you could play a sport together. Recreation centres usually have tennis and basketball courts which are free or cheap to use. You could go swimming, go to a trampolining centre and much more. Don’t see it as exercise to stay fit- see it as a fun activity you can all do together! You won’t even realise just how many calories you’re burning and the good you’ll be doing to your body as you’ll be having too much of a good time.
Teach kids the dangers of unhealthy vices
Most kids will experience peer pressure at one time or another. Experimentation with things like drugs, alcohol and smoking are common but it doesn’t mean your child can’t avoid them when they’re equipped with the right knowledge and support. As well as educating them about just how dangerous these kinds of vices can be, you should also make sure they know you’re always available to talk and will support them if they’re ever put under this kind of pressure. Kids who have a better relationship with their parents are more likely to open up about what’s happening, and once they do you have the opportunity to talk to them and advise them what to do. If they don’t have that kind of support and communication, they’re far more likely to just go ahead with these things when they’re put under pressure to do so. Understand that your kids can make mistakes, and if they come to you having done something you don’t like- speak to them instead of just shouting and punishing. Putting that barrier up will mean next time, they simply won’t come to you. We want to wrap our kids up in cotton wool and make sure they’re never exposed to the evils of the world, however, education is invaluable. When they know just how dangerous and damaging these habits are- the illnesses they can cause and the harm it does to their bodies- they’re far less likely to want to give it a try. Kids and teens tend to be experimental because unlike adults, they’re less aware of consequences. Teach them that the consequence of these things isn’t just a punishment if they get caught, as they could simply aim to not get caught. Educate them to know that they could cause serious illnesses and even result in death when they mess around with these kinds of things.
Study a health topic
If you have a strong interest in health, why not study a health related topic? Maybe you want to become qualified in sports massage, study child psychology or nursing? This could be because you want to change career, and take a job in the health industry later down the line, or just because you want to focus on your self development and work on learning new things and brushing up on new skills. Plenty of health topics you can study can directly benefit your family too, take nutrition for example. Knowing exactly how the body works and the nutrients and vitamins it needs to thrive will enable you to make better decisions with your diet and food choices. If you change career, you could get a higher paid job making your family’s finances easier to manage, and being happier in your work could allow you to be a happier and more positive parent. So it’s something to consider, as it can benefit you and your family on many levels.
Make relaxation a priority
It’s easy to think that stress is a problem that only affects adults. However, it’s simply not the case. The things that upset or stress children and teens might be a lot different (and in your eyes, they might not seem like a big deal) however, it is to them. Pressures from school and friends, their changing body, budding relationships, arguments with family and more can all impact a child’s well-being. For this reason, relaxation should be a priority for the whole family. It can be something fun and nice that you all do together, where you can switch off from the world for a while and unwind. It’s good for mental health, physical health and can be great for you as a family as well. Switch off social media and outside distractions. You could have a few hours of quiet time reading together, play a board game or watch a movie. If you have a daughter, you could have a pamper session together where you do manicures, pedicures and face masks. You could bake together, or do a crafting activity. Either way, something that’s enjoyable and allows you to switch off from the worries of the world is good for the health of all of the family. So many of us have children and never get to enjoy their company or even properly get to know them. So this helps to maintain a closeness as well as give you all chance to relax.