When you feel fit and healthy, it allows you to get out there and tackle life head on. And as a parent, it falls to you to ensure that everyone is living well and all of their exercise and nutrition needs are met. While each member of the family will have different health requirements depending on their age, gender and pre-existing health conditions, there are things you can do together as a family to promote great health.
Share Family Meals
We all know the importance of family meals. When each family member is at school or work all day, attending hobbies, classes and generally living quite separate lives, dinner time gives you all chance to catch up. To chat, discuss what’s going on in your lives and generally reconnect. However, there are tonnes of other incredible benefits of family mealtimes too. http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/families_and_consumers/family_dinners.shtml
Suggests that families who eat together at least three times promote positive child development. They are less likely to go on to abuse substances, become pregnant as a teenager, even have a higher chance of graduating high school. They’re also less likely to have eating disorders or be obese. Since obesity can lead to heart disease and heart attacks, stroke, type two diabetes, certain cancers and problems with just about every part of the body, it’s of course something that you should work really hard to avoid. These days there are fast food shops at every turn, supermarkets are crammed with convenience foods and other unhealthy treats. Teaching children to love and appreciate fresh, healthy and home cooked meals and showing them how to snack smart will set them up for later in life. Since people generally can’t overeat fresh fruit and vegetables, if these are always on offer as snacks when they reach for them its because you know they’re genuinely hungry.
When most people think about exercising more, they picture torturous 7am runs and sweating it out at the gym. But it really doesn’t have to be this way, if you have kids keeping active is easy! Family walks, bike rides, games of cricket, frisbee and football at the park will all get you running around. Instead of getting the bus or driving to school, leave a little earlier and walk instead. You could use this time to chat to your child, really get to know them, address any concerns they have and just use it as a chance for quality time. You could buy a big trampoline for your back garden and bounce together or hire a bouncy castle, you could all sign up for a game of laser tag. http://www.parents.com/fun/sports/exercise/10-ways-to-exercise-as-a-family/ state more fun ideas There’s so much you could do together that gets you up and moving, but have so much fun in the process that it doesn’t feel like exercise. If you make being active part of your routine, you will all stay fitter and healthier and find it easy to maintain your weight. Don’t just watch from the sidelines, get in there and really have fun with your kids. Chase them around, be silly, it’s great for your health as well as the bond with them.
Give Up Your Unhealthy Habits
As a parent you are your child’s idol. Your behaviours are watched more closely than you might think, and the last thing you want is for them to normalise unhealthy attitudes. The dangers of passive smoking are now very well understood, and it’s not something you should do around children at all. If you must smoke, it should be done outside of the home since chemicals from burning tobacco can stick to surfaces and hang around in the air for a while. According to http://www.insurancehero.org.uk/types/life-insurance-for-smokers.html not only does the average ‘ten a day’ smoker pay £2000 a year, but there are also higher costs for things like life insurance too. And there’s a good reason for this, smokers are unhealthier and are at far greater risk of certain cancers and diseases due to the habit. Setting a good example to your children is motivation enough to quit, and the money you save could be used for an incredible family holiday.
Make Sleep a Priority
When you have children (especially if they are different ages), sleep can be a bit of a tricky one. Your best bet is to create a routine and stick to it as best you can. Since lack of sleep can lead to all kinds of short and long term problems it’s something that absolutely has to be a priority. Set a bedtime and be strict with it, so kids know there’s absolutely no way around it. If they’re a little bit older, invest in a couple of quiet morning activities and encourage them to sit and do these. That way if they wake at 6am on a Saturday morning, you at least get an extra hour to sleep.
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