You do not have to give up all your favorite foods or radically change your life for better health. Instead, you can make small changes that will greatly improve your health outcomes.
To help those in the family who are struggling with their health-related goals, you’ll need to teach them to understand and practice living a healthy lifestyle.
By eating healthier foods, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep, you and your family can avoid chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer.
Eating healthier foods
A good starting point for your family to adopt a healthy lifestyle is by eating healthier foods. Healthy foods are those that are high in nutrients, low in fat, sugar, and calories. These nutrient-rich foods include grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and dairy products. Your kids may not be on board with you yet, but there are ways to be sneaky about it.
Some examples of healthier alternative options are you can make homemade pizza with wholemeal crust, fresh veggies on top, and lean meat. To cut back on fat, you could also use goat cheese instead of mozzarella. Sliced apples would make a great substitute for breadsticks.
You should also check the nutrition facts box on packaged foods to determine how much sugar or salt is in them. A lot of packaged and frozen foods in stores tend to be packed with added sugar and high amounts of salt, so it’s worth checking.
Getting your family active is important in living a healthy life. Going to the gym can be a drag if you’re not used to it, but every bit of exercise helps. Some common exercises you could do at a gym are running on a treadmill, lifting weights, or swimming if a pool is available.
For your kids, you could hide some treats, like small pieces of chocolate and raisins, around the house and yard to encourage your kids to go on a treasure hunt. You can even hide them as part of active games like tag.
Younger children would enjoy a family walk or play outside. You could also encourage them to join a local sports team, like baseball or hockey.
Getting enough sleep
Make sure everyone in the family is getting enough sleep by going to bed at about the same time or setting an earlier bedtime on busy days.
Getting enough sleep is vital for your physical and mental well-being. Sleep deprivation can affect your mood, memory, ability to pay attention, weight, immune system, and blood pressure. It can also increase your risk for heart disease.
It’s important to get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. On average, adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. College students and teenagers may only need 8 to 10 hours, while kids can need as many as 12.
For better sleep, you should avoid caffeine close to bedtime, exercise regularly, go to bed at the same time every night, and keep electronics out of the bedroom. You could use sleeping pills, but relying on them isn’t advised. Taking too many sleeping pills too often can be harmful and potentially lead to addiction.
Making sure everyone eats healthy foods, gets enough sleep, and regularly exercises will help your family adopt a healthier lifestyle.
It’s not easy, and it takes a while to get into a good routine, but it’s worth it.