Living as a Healthier Family
|By Katie Webb, Staff Writer on Monday, December 5, 2011|
|Families live like unique organisms in the surrounding world and practicing healthy habits around the home can improve the overall health of your family.||
Electronic gadgets, a fast-paced lifestyle and too much work -- all these things hinder families from becoming the healthy families that they're supposed to be. How about yours? Can you honestly say that your brood can stand as a role model when it comes to good health? If you shake your head or sigh in dismay, it’s important that you do something about it now. Remember, just because no one in the family gets sick, it doesn’t mean that you’re healthy. Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure that your family stays in good health.
Get On Your Feet
The problem with families today is that most of their bonding time is centered in sedentary activities like watching TV or playing video games. This isn’t healthy at all. For one, these activities hardly encourage interaction. Think about it. After watching a full episode of a reality show about a bunch of celebrity wannabes, how much have you learned about your kids?
Not only that, these passive activities also promote sedentary lifestyle. Stop making couch potatoes out of your kids, interest them with enjoyable outdoor activities that would get them running around the yard or in the park. Take them outside for a picnic and engage in exciting outdoor activities like hiking, urban exploring, camping or bird watching. Another option is to take classes with your kids. Whether it’s yoga, martial arts or dance classes, the important thing is you do physical activities together that you guys will enjoy.
Turn Your Home Green
It’s a common mistake for parents to think that once their children are inside the house, no harm can come their way. What they don’t know is that inside what’s supposed to be a safety haven exists indoor pollution. Furniture, paint and other things inside the house release formaldehyde and other volatile compounds that can pollute the indoor air.
These can bring about various health problems for you and your family. Because of this, it’s imperative that you cleanse the house air with the use of houseplants and an air humidifier or filter. Houseplants are great unless you’re allergic to them. They filter these harmful substances and purify the air that your family breathes.
Run Away From the Gadgets
You may not have noticed this but electronic gadgets have come between members of the family. Instead of talking about how each other’s day went, you and your kids can convey these conversations with gadgets. You’ll be busy answering emails and checking up the latest on your LinkedIn, while the kids would be too caught up texting with friends or browsing through Facebook or Twitter updates.
Make a vow to have at least one gadget-free day a week so you can spend it doing activities that promote family closeness as well as good health. There should also be a gadget curfew at night. Have the kids turn off all these items at least an hour before bedtime. That’s because these things are notorious for over-stimulating the brain, making it difficult for people to get a good night sleep. Everyone is in need of that good quality sleep as it’s what repairs and rejuvenates the mind and body each night.
Make Eating Fun
Mealtime is supposed to be fun for everyone in the family. To encourage healthy eating, prepare meals that are palatable to the taste buds and appealing to the eyes and at the same time, packed with nutritional content. You don’t have to force your kids to swallow their vegetables. This can only become a traumatic experience for them.
Instead, look for creative ways to incorporate veggies into what they’re eating. For example, you can put up a tower of carrot sticks in your kids’ plates and dare them to conquer the tower in one sitting. Give them a saucer with a dab of ranch dressing for the carrot sticks. You can also add veggies into their favorite meals, like peas in spaghetti for instance.
Make sure that you only stock up healthy items in the cupboard and the refrigerator. Set a good example too. You can’t expect your kids to just ignore the packs of soda and bags of chips that are in the kitchen if you devour them yourself every day. Practice what you preach.
Say Goodbye to Stress
Stress isn’t a viral infection so obviously, it’s not contagious. And yet, it can easily spread from one person to another. Notice how it happens when one person is stressed at home and the others become stressed too only after a few minutes? Always strive to keep the mood inside the house light and happy. Stress releases harmful toxins in the body that can bring various health problems. With this said, it’s best to stay away from it as much as possible. Let go of perfection, don’t sweat the small stuff and make time for relaxation activities.
Becoming a healthier family should be your number one goal today—not tomorrow, not next week but today. After all, your family’s health, safety and wellbeing is always your top priority.
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