Thursday, April 5, 2018

8 Steps Towards Having A Healthier Family

How healthy is your family? Chances are, like many families up and down the country, they aren’t as healthy as they should be. Truth be told, this may be down to you. As the parent, you are responsible for your family's well being, from your own health and fitness levels down to your children. What are you all eating? How do you all spend your leisure time? How educated are you all on health issues? You need to be the person who takes the mantle of health provider, encouraging your family to live a better lifestyle, and finding ways to do this for each individual person. To alleviate future health problems for any member of your family then, the following steps may prove useful. Be sure to set them in motion today.

Step #1. Get yourself educated

Don’t turn a blind eye to possible health issues that come from an unhealthy lifestyle. The article you are reading now will give you a few tips to benefit your learning, but there is always more you can do. As the parent, you need to get the right advice to pass down to all of your loved ones. So look online, research healthy foods, find fun fitness activities, and discover what signs to look for should your child or spouse start to feel ill. Then consider courses, from online CPR Certification to local first-aid courses happening at a community center near you. Doctors and nurses do a wonderful job, but you can learn some basic skills for your family’s well being for those minor (or major) accidents and injuries that often occur around the home.

When it comes to health matters, knowledge is key, so go to school, head online, and buy yourself the relevant books. Then share your wisdom with the family you have around you.

Step #2. Be the role model

It’s no good telling your children to eat their greens or to go and play outside if you’re living a hypocritical lifestyle. If you want your kids to eat their veggies, make sure you do too, so cut down on those unhealthy snacks and takeaways. If you want your children to exercise outdoors, get off the couch yourself, put down the remote, and practice what you are preaching. Your children are watching you, so the only way they are going to learn good habits is if you lead by your good example. Be sure to remind your partner too, and work on being a role model as a team.

Step #3. Encourage healthy eating

The only way to encourage healthy eating is to remove anything sugary and unsavory out of your pantry and refrigerator. Sorry, but you need to say goodbye to those chocolate bars, cookies, and fizzy drinks you have been hoarding. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t allow treat days, but as a good habit for the majority of your family’s eating and drinking time, only have items on offer that aren’t bad for anybody’s health. So have fruit and protein bars on offer instead of sweets and chocolate. Provided allergies aren’t an issue, have bowls of nuts situated within reach. When making your kid’s packed lunches, use healthy fillings and use brown bread instead of white. When it comes to making the evening dinner, learn some healthy recipes, and cook foods that your kids aren’t going to turn their noses up.

It’s about being creative, thinking outside of the box for your fussy eaters, and knowing it is possible. And hey, if you have a garden, give your kids a vegetable patch to grown their own. Chances are, if they have had a hand in producing something, they may be more inclined to eat it. Probably!

Step #4. Get out of the house

Our homes have become an all-purpose entertainment center, with flat screen TVs, video streaming services, and games consoles. Why go outside when you have so much to do at your fingertips? You can even socialize with your friends from the comfort of your armchair, thanks to Facebook! Don’t let the great outdoors be a thing of the past. Not only are we talking about exercise, but we are also talking about the emotional benefits of the fresh air and sunlight. So, put down the tv remote, switch off your multitude of devices, and find good excuses to get outdoors. Having a pet is a great excuse for a walk, buying everybody a bike is a fun way to encourage exercise, and visiting somewhere that appeals to every member of the family is an incentive to cut yourself off from your wifi connections.

Step #5. Keep up-to-date with health checkups

The best way to preempt any kind of illness is to make a date in your calendars for health checkups. We aren’t just talking about visiting the local doctor’s surgery, either. We are also talking about visiting the dentist (yikes), going to the optician, and anybody else who has a hand in your family’s health each year. We know it’s a pain to get everybody into the car (or whisper it, on foot) to visit each of these places, but despite your children’s protestations (as well as your partners), these are appointments you don’t want to miss. Even the dentist and optician have the ability to pick up on possible health conditions, above and beyond teeth and eyesight, so there are a multitude of reasons to visit each of them, even if you all do feel fine.

Step #6. Make exercise fun

We briefly mentioned exercise in point #4, but it’s not something that should only happen outdoors. There are ways to make exercise fun indoors too, be that in your own home with motion-controlled video games (dig out your old Nintendo Wii console or Xbox Kinect), or at a local leisure center, with swimming pools, dance classes, and a range of sporting activities. Finding fun and interesting ways to exercise is something you should do as a family, whether you take part in specific activities together, or separate yourselves up when you do get to the leisure center. Of course, as mentioned earlier, you should also take your fitness away from the confines of four walls, wherever they are situated. You could all go for a walk together, be that at the local park or somewhere further afield, or even get out into the garden and have fun playing a range of outdoor games, from tig to hide and seek.

Step #7. Think about emotional health

Staying healthy is not only about the physical aspect, such as keeping fit and eating the right foods, although they do play a part in emotional wellbeing too. Emotional health extends to the way you all relate to one another. What does this mean in reality?

For starters, create a positive home, and have a praise and affirmation culture within your household. When somebody does something well, congratulate them on it. Encourage each other, help each other, and be supportive of each other’s achievements. If somebody makes a mistake or does something naughty, don’t spend time berating them over it, with words and actions you will regret later. Instead, use your words wisely, and focus on the problem behaviour rather than the person. Resolve conflict in healthy ways, sitting down together and discussing the problem.

Don’t put down your children when they come to you with an issue, either. Their crisis may seem insignificant to you, but the event likely seems a lot larger in your child’s head. Talk to them, listen to them, and help them resolve the issue in question.

By following each of these examples, you are better serving your children’s emotional wellbeing.

Step #8: Work together

Our final step is the most sensible one. No man is an island, so the saying goes, and neither is each woman or child. You are all in this together, and this means being accountable to one another. While you will set in motion a healthier lifestyle, there are times when one or all of you will fall down. There will be days when you just can’t be bothered to get off the sofa. There will be days when your children will be glued to their tv screen. There will be days when ‘just one more’ chocolate won’t seem like a deal breaker. And in a sense, that’s fine. Nobody’s perfect, after all. Still, if you work together, spur each other on, remind each other of the benefits of a healthier lifestyle, you will have a greater chance of success. So, listen to each other, spend time in each other’s company, and learn from one another’s good days and bad days.

Final word

So, there we have it, eight steps to a healthier family. Improve your education, focus on everybody’s physical and emotional well being, and work together to achieve your health goals. It will take some effort, but it will benefit everybody in the short and long term, and it will positively affect your relationships as a family (even if your kids do grumble occasionally). We hope our advice has helped, but remember to continue your research into a healthier lifestyle online, and let us know if you have any helpful tips. Thanks for reading!

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