Small Adjustments to Improve Family Health
Your family’s health is obviously important, but where exactly do you start? Life can be chaotic at times, and sometimes healthy living falls by the wayside in favor of easier or more convenient options. Once you’ve made the big decisions, like where to live and where to send your kids for day care or school, improving your family’s health and wellness can be achieved without drastic measures. There are simple adjustments you can make inside and outside of your home that can provide large benefits and drastically reduce stress.
Don’t Eat in Front of the Television
At the end of a long day, it’s nice to sit down and relax in front of the television, but avoid eating when you do it. When you are paying attention to the screen, you are less focused on how much or how fast you are eating. According to Harvard Health Publications, after you start eating it takes the brain 20 minutes to receive the “I’m full” signal. If you and your family are distracted while watching television, you may be eating more calories than your body needs. Eating and watching television is a habit, and possibly even a family tradition, so start out slow. Eat silently for five minutes before turning on the television, or set aside one or two days a week that the family eats at the dinner table together before migrating to the television.
Keep Healthy Food in Plain Sight
You already know that fruits and vegetables are health smart, but getting your family to eat them is a different story.
Eat Right suggests keeping bright, colorful produce in the open where your family can easily grab it or at eye-level in the fridge. Replace snacks such as cookies and candy with dried variations or make your own trail mix. Consider incorporating fruits and veggies in creative ways, such as purchasing frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries to use in smoothies or as a yogurt topping, or adding frozen or fresh vegetables to salsa, soups, and casseroles. Whatever option you choose, keep the produce in plain sight. Your family will be more likely to grab fruits and veggies if they’re in the open and easily accessible.
Plan Active Time
Sometimes it can hard to plan time for your family to get out and be active, but according to USA Today, getting creative with physical activity could be a good option.
For example, your family likely participates in activities together, so make active substitutions such as going to the zoo instead of the movies or taking a walk or bike ride after dinner rather than plopping down in front of the television. Plan weekday or weekend activities, such as picnics, hiking, or visiting a local park or playground. Take advantage of time when your children already have planned activities such as sports practice or after-school programs by fitting in a quick walk or jog.
Life is busy, and planning active time may be necessary to make sure you and your family stays healthy and active. The options for active time are endless, so sit down with your family and brainstorm ideas to meet the interests of everyone.
Don’t Forget About the Dog
Dogs are a part of the family too, so don’t forget about them when looking for ways to improve the health of your family. When you go out for family walks, bring your four-legged family member along.
According to Animal Wellness Magazine, animal exercise maintains strong bones, reverses obesity, pumps toxins out of the body, helps with arthritis, prevents premature aging, and improves insulin health and metabolism. It’s also important to note that spending time with animals gives humans a physical and mental health boost. So, if you don’t have a family pet and aren’t looking to take on the responsibility of full-time pet care, offering to walk an elderly neighbor’s dog is a great way to make sure you, your family members, and your four-legged friends are all getting plenty of exercise.
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