words Alexa Wang
You may have noticed that even within your own household, your family members have different eating habits and preferences. They may also have different opinions and approaches when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your role is in your home, whether you’re the wife, husband, father, mother, son or daughter, you can promote a healthy lifestyle at home.
Promotion by leading and example are good ways to have them try out and practice new healthy habits. There are different areas you can encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as exercise, diet, detoxification, stress reduction or changing unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking. Once your family gets into the program, you can see all of them leading healthier and happier lives and enjoying a better quality of life.
Make Staying Active a Fun Activity
When speaking of being active, the first thing that comes to mind is exercise. When it comes to exercise, one of the most common complaints would be it is a tiring activity. Others complain that it is often repetitive. You’ll have to convince your other family members that it is an enjoyable activity. You may have to start with your exercise regime alone for the first few days or weeks. Be a good and convincing example to them by showing them that you are following your exercise schedule faithfully and that you are enjoying it. They may get curious about your exercise and ask about it, that’s a good start. You can then let them repeat after you or go along with a few reps just to try it out. Always wear your best smile when performing your exercise regimen. If exercise is just not everyone’s thing, there are other ways that you can make your family members stay active. The main purpose of keeping your family active is to avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Sedentary lifestyle, or being a couch potato is one of the problematic and unhealthy habits that affect most families these days. A sedentary lifestyle can actually put you and your family at risk for many health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease such as hypertension. Staying sedentary for most of your time at home is also an unproductive and unstimulating activity, which is not beneficial in keeping yourself mentally sharp and active.
There are also other activities that you and your whole family can enjoy and are also healthy. Swimming is one good example. It’s not only fun, but it’s also a great form of exercise. For a safe and supervised swimming experience, you can go to your local public swimming pools or to private resorts with stationed lifeguards. Other fun activities that can make you and your family stay fit are walking, jogging, biking, hiking, and dancing. When you and your family members enjoy doing healthy activities, it is likely that they will continue doing them. To avoid being repetitive and boring, introduce a new activity or add variations to the usual ones like instead of your usual biking to the park, try changing the route to the beach or around the neighborhood.
Prepare Healthy Meals
Preparing a healthy meal will mean starting from scratch. You want to have all-natural and organic ingredients for your home-cooked meals. It can be quite a challenge, especially if you and your family got used to eating processed foods, takeout meals, fast-food chains, and restaurants. The main concern about these practices is that although eating is convenient and easy, we don’t know what these foods are made of and what’s in them. Personally preparing the food you eat and cooking from scratch is the best way of guaranteeing that you know what’s in the food you are consuming. The preparation and cooking may take time, but you can always find ways to overcome these setbacks. Preparing healthy food is a good complement to an active lifestyle in order to sustain the health benefits you are achieving, such as healthy and younger-looking skin, well-sculpted body, properly toned muscles and ideal body mass index (BMI).
Stock up on natural ingredients such as animal products, fruits, vegetables, and grains. To do that, you need to set aside time once a week to make one big shopping trip to buy your natural ingredients. When it comes to cooking and preparation, schedule your home cooking sessions an hour or more earlier to cover the entire process and finish preparing the meal ahead of time. This way, you don’t eat up the time allotted for other important activities and you can still proceed with other activities as scheduled. Buying bulk items and unprepared or unprocessed food can help you save money by spending less when buying natural ingredients.
Introduce Healthy Snacks at Home
Meals do not solely constitute your family’s diet. A significant portion of their diets comes from snacks and after-meal eating. While snacks are becoming our most common way of relieving hunger and craving, we can still control the kind of food we want our family to eat as comfort foods. Aside from preparing healthy meals, you can also set aside time for preparing healthy snacks. Fresh fruits, nuts, and whole-grain cookies and crackers can be great snacks to munch on. Yogurt and granola bars make a flavorful treat and peanut butter, chocolate, and cream cheese makes delicious dips and additional flavors for your healthy snacks. Explore different recipes and look for a doctor- or nutritionist-recommended websites that offer healthy snacks and food recipes and tips. Take the extra effort to prepare and pack healthy snacks for family members who are going to work and school to make sure they are continually eating healthy food even when away from home. They won’t have to get snacks from vending machines or fast food joints.
Learn Creative Ways for Stress Management
A growing number of research and studies are being conducted on how stress affects your health and well-being. Stress, particularly chronic stress, has been linked to a myriad of health issues, from simple to complex ones such as headaches, digestive and gastrointestinal problems, and cancer. It doesn’t mean that you have to totally eliminate stress. Stress is our body’s natural reaction to external stressors (social situations, environmental factors, and unexpected life-changing events) and internal stressors (psychological situations, illness, and medical procedures), which evokes physical, mental and emotional responses. It is actually essential for survival because it triggers bodily processes and chemical production that help our body prepare to face dangers and threats and help us cope with difficult situations. However, we should limit the amount of stress we receive within normal levels. When we experience more than the usual levels of stress and we get to experience it on a regular basis, we are subjecting ourselves to chronic stress, which can lead to adverse effects on our health.
There are many ways to manage stress. Yoga is one of the most effective stress management activities you can try. You can enroll in a class or you can practice yoga at home with your family. The good thing about yoga is it relatively easy to perform and its positive concept of being non-judgmental to both yourself and others. Since some of our major sources of stress come from our unhealthy interaction with other people and being so hard on ourselves, this concept is a very welcome change of pace for us. Yoga also cultivates the principle of the unity of mind and body, which is highly relevant when it comes to managing stress. Stress is highly affective to both our mind and body, which makes yoga an effective practice for relieving stress. Yoga also trains our body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which our very own stress-countering response system. With regular practice, it also lowers our chronic daytime stress levels and improves our rate variability, which are factors that improve our ability to handle stress. You can start with basic yoga breathing and simple yoga poses that the whole family can follow. You will all notice the difference in a few days.
Meditation is another mind-body practice that is effective for managing stress. Like yoga, it is easy to perform and can be done by all your family members. While most of us prefer to meditate alone, it can also be done as a group, in a relaxed, distraction-free and peaceful environment. No equipment is necessary and mats are optional for meditating. You don’t necessarily have to sit while meditating. You can choose any position you find most comfortable, like lying down or standing up. You can start with deep, slow and rhythmic breathing and slowly relieve your mind of thoughts as you close your eyes. You don’t have any conscious control over what thoughts come to you, but you can let them progress like the flow of water and let them take you to another level of peace. The gist of the practice is to not let stressful thoughts intrude on your mind and focus on a certain word or significant mental image to screen out negative thoughts and achieve a sense of inner peace. Chants or background music can be great ways of assisting you in focusing your mind while in meditation. With regular practice, you experience a sense of calmness and heightened the perception of your surroundings and better awareness of your own self, which contributes to a better stress response. There are many variations for meditation that your family can enjoy practicing, such as music meditation, loving-kindness meditation, basic mindfulness meditation, chocolate meditation, bath meditation, and walking meditation.
Introduce Health-Promoting Products at Home
You can be an effective promoter or endorser of products that are beneficial to the health of the whole family. This is where you can influence their opinions about staying healthy, be personally trying out the products and offering convincing testaments of their effectiveness in promoting health and wellness. One of the family-use products that Your Wellness Kingdom recommends is a home sauna. Contrary to popular belief that saunas are exclusively for weight loss, saunas are actually good for improving the overall health of all family members, regardless of age. One benefit is it detoxifies the body. Not only does a sauna loosen fat adhesions in our circulatory system, but it also promotes sweating, which is a natural way our bodies eliminate waste and harmful elements. Speaking of circulation, saunas improve cardiovascular performance due to improved blood flow. The ambient heating temperature of saunas loosens fat deposits and dilates small blood vessels around the body, which improves the transport of red blood cells and oxygen throughout the body. Improved circulation also helps lessen swelling, inflammation, and aches from intense physical activities like gym workouts, physical training, and athletic activities, which makes saunas great for recovering from extreme physical activities. Saunas also help relieve stress by relaxing the muscles and easing up the accumulated tension in our bodies. This gives you a relaxed and calm feeling while soaking up to the sauna’s temperature. Saunas can help you sleep better at night due to its balancing effect of the release of wakefulness and sleep hormones, which as endorphin and melatonin, respectively. It helps in the smooth transition of endorphin release during wakefulness to melatonin release for sleep. With so many benefits a home sauna can offer, it can be a great product to have at home.
Dietary supplements and vitamins are also products that you can recommend for your family. One of the most overlooked vitamins and nutrients are vitamin D and calcium, respectively. There is no age restriction as to who can take supplements of calcium and vitamin. Both children and adults need calcium for proper bone and muscular maintenance. Vitamin D is a great support to the effective absorption of not just calcium, but also essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and phosphate. Magnesium is especially important, due to its regulatory role for many processes in the body, but many people are magnesium-deficient without even knowing it. You can do a magnesium deficiency quiz to find out if you should be taking more. Another important supplement you can introduce is fiber. Although this is not a vitamin or a mineral, it is still an important substance that your body should have, no matter what age bracket you belong. Fiber is important for maintaining a healthy digestive system and for the efficient disposal of waste from the digestive system. Nutrients from the food you eat are better absorbed, your blood sugar levels are well regulated and your cholesterol stays at healthy levels when you have enough fiber in your body.
A healthy lifestyle for the whole family can take considerable effort and involves a large scope. It takes regular exercise, healthy eating, practicing healthy habits and using health-enhancing products to achieve the overall wellness that you aim for your family. It takes, planning, positivity, and determination to get everyone involved and be on the same health goal as yours. Over time, once a healthy lifestyle has been integrated into your family life, you’ll thank yourself that you made that wonderful effort to promote a healthy lifestyle for your family.