In times of crisis, families act as a great support system, and life without them is indeed unimaginable. Families are meant to be together; no matter what hurdle you come across in life, it becomes easier if you have the support of your parents and siblings. Another major thing on which family has an influence is your lifestyle.
It is one thing to be responsible for your own health and well-being; it is an entirely new ball game ensuring a healthy lifestyle for your family. As parents, the duty might even seem overwhelming.
However, fear not; you can improve your family’s mental and physical well-being with a few changes to your daily routine. Remember that habits instilled early on are more likely to persist, so adopt the following practices as early as possible.
Given below are some handy tips to ensure a healthy family lifestyle:
1. Spend quality time with your family
Times have changed, and today screens have invaded what was previously family time. More often than not, children spend their free time on electronic devices, and there is barely any face-to-face interaction. This habit is seriously detrimental to your psychological well-being.
Quality time with family fosters strong emotional support, builds confidence, boosts self-esteem, minimizes behavioral problems, teaches life skills, and even improves physical health. Coming together as a family, like at dinner time, also allows parents to connect with their children, talk to each other, give suggestions, and feel emotional support.
Such discussions are significant for catching problems like substance abuse in time before they escalate to uncontrollable levels. If you or your loved one is facing difficulty leaving substance use, you can get help from www.delphihealthgroup.com, where you will find excellent treatment options.
2. Introduce physical activity into your daily routine
Parents can best encourage their children to adopt a habit when they set an example themselves. Your kids will probably ignore your advice to keep active if they see you lounging on the couch all day; therefore, be what you preach.
Make physical activity and workout a family practice where you get together and do something fun. From routine walking and jogging to swimming, playing basketball, hiking, or biking, there is a lot you can do.
To decide on a daily activity, you can all get together and create a list of ideas to follow for the upcoming week; this way, everyone gets to pitch in and enjoy some fun time. Another critical way to reduce sitting time is to minimize time spent on devices like television, computer, mobile phones, and video games.
3. Control screen time
It is common practice in most households to watch television or play some video on mobile phones whenever eating. This habit can have a terrible effect on one’s eating practice; it encourages you to eat more by distracting from the feeling of satiety, and you also tend to snack more on unhealthy foods.
Too much screen time and exposure to blue light from electronics can also cause sleep disturbances by affecting the brain’s sleep-wake cycle. It even leads to bad posture and chronic back and neck pain.
To control screen time, you must make a joint effort and make it a family practice. As parents, you must model using devices, avoid binge-watching television shows, limit your time on social media, and control background television viewing. Monitor your child’s habits by limiting screen time to a certain amount each day and encouraging other outdoor activities.
4. Enforce good eating habits
You are what you eat; this is true for people of all ages. Dietary habits established early in life will likely continue later, so you must focus on healthy eating early in your kids’ lives.
Firstly, make sure you prioritize a healthy breakfast. School-going children, in particular, need a good breakfast to facilitate performance during the rest of the day. Throughout the day, include sufficient fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and, most important, fluids in your routine diet.
Secondly, inculcate a habit of chewing slowly and taking time to eat because your brain takes 20 minutes to process that your stomach is full. Also, it is healthier to eat food in smaller portions than less but larger portion sizes.
5. Prioritize sleep
As you grow old and have a family of your own, the mounting responsibilities make it harder to take time for quality sleep; as strange as it might sound, sleep is as essential for you as it is for your kids. Prioritizing sleep is vital for every single member of the family.
Good quality sleep boosts brain performance, enhances mood, and promotes better health. It is when you are asleep that your body and mind repair themselves. That being said, it is easier to control a child’s sleep habits when they are young, but it becomes more and more difficult as they become older and more independent. Make sure you never compromise on a fixed sleep schedule and set an example yourselves.
Insufficient sleep might not have an immediate impact, but it forms a ‘sleep debt’ that can cause severe problems like hypertension and strokes later on.
6. Plan wisely
If you have decided to work on your family’s lifestyle and intend to teach healthier habits to them, you must create a realistic outline. It will be a long project, so set realistic targets. It would help if you started slow because it is impractical to expect a massive change from the very start.
Set modest goals and go one by one. If, for instance, you want to increase activity, beginning with an intense long-period workout every day is going to be unrealistic. You can start with a simple walk and move on to greater-intensity physical activity once you get used to it – say in a week.
The best kind of goals are the SMART ones; the acronym stands for ‘specific,’ ‘measurable,’ ‘achievable,’ ‘relevant,’ and ‘timely.’ With every habit, set several goals leading up to your ultimate target.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle in your family is a task that cannot be achieved overnight. It takes small steps to lead up to the ultimate goal. Start slow and set realistic goals. Within this framework, make sure to spend quality time as a family.
Moreover, include physical activity in the routine, control screen time, practice good eating habits, and prioritize sleep. In the long run, these habits will help improve your physical and mental health.