As spring approaches and the sun comes up earlier, it’s a good time to consider a healthy approach to living for the family. What we eat, how much we exercise, how we sleep, how much relaxation time we get and generally how we conduct are lives on a daily basis are key to maintaining optimal health for the whole family.
With so much discussion online and in the media surrounding the idea of health and wellbeing it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available and what you can do for your loved ones.
Here are some tips that you can start doing today to help you achieve optimal health for the whole family.
- Start with the basics of a happy body and happy mind – good posture is at the core of wellbeing, as foundations and a sound structure are to a building. Our physios understand that good posture and core stability is one of the most fundamental attributes of lifelong health. To achieve effective movement we rely heavily on the major muscle groups. Together with our core, they are responsible for maintaining correct posture and alignment through a range of demanding activities. Simple exercises such as bridges, lunges, wall squats and calf raises can be done to keep these muscles well-conditioned. Focus on maintaining good core body strength to carry you throughout your life.
- Make healthy foods the norm in your household. Parents have the power to control and influence their children’s eating habits. Develop a positive eating environment in your home by eating together as a family, encouraging your children to gain nutrients from colourrful foods, and having regular meals and healthy snacks. Consider attempting to grow your own produce in the backyard. This is a fun activity for the kids to do outside. Most of all, eat a fresh well balanced diet and avoid processed and sugary foods.
- With the hustle and bustle of life, we often don’t drink sufficient amounts of water. Most people live in a mildly dehydrated state, never realising that certain symptoms they may be experiencing are a result of lacking water intake. Aim to drink at least two litres of room temperature water evenly throughout the day. Encourage your family to do the same by ensuring that water is always accessible in your household and water bottles are carried when out and about.
- Technology is increasingly consuming our time and in some cases, becoming an addiction, in our day to day lives. With this in mind, it’s important to monitor and limit how much time is spent on technology within your home. Instead, encourage the family to engage in physical activity outdoors rather than spending time in front of the computer or the TV. Simple things like walking the dog or even having a family cricket match will not only be fun, but it will help contribute to the overall health and fitness of your family. Turn the park into your go-to exercise space with games such as hide and seek or tree climbing.
- Place emphasis on the importance of sleep! It has been shown that irritability, a reduced immune system, weight gain, and delayed injury healing are side effects of a lack of sleep. Ensure that your family is getting the optimum eight hours per night. Ensure that the children stick to a consistent bed time, avoid stimulants like soft drinks, and power down all electronics at least 30 minutes before going to bed, which will increase the likelihood of a good sleep for all.