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Spring is finally here, and every parent out there must be excited about the fact that we can finally get out into the great outdoors as a family again. It can be all too easy to curl up on the couch during the cold, dark, wet winter months. While there is nothing wrong with a little family hibernation time, we all know how important it is to really take advantage of the opportunities the better weather and longer days give us when it comes to our family’s health.
And it is important to remember that it is not just about making sure that our kids are getting outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. It is just as crucial to make sure that you parents are looking after yourselves too. It’s all very well and good to tell your children how important it is to watch their diet and to exercise regularly, but you need to practice what you preach. Here are some tips to help both kids and parents have a happy, healthy spring this year.
Rethink Your Meal Plans
When the weather is bad, and things are stressful, we can all be forgiven for taking some shortcuts when it comes to our meals. If you have spent all day at the office and you have come home in the pouring rain, it is tough to think about putting together a healthy feast from scratch instead of picking up the phone and ordering takeout. However, now that the weather is better, it is time to start making healthier choices.
Fresh fruit and vegetables should be a key part of every meal, and you need to be thinking about lean proteins such as fish and chicken (grilled or steamed, not fried). Look for whole grain cereals and bread for your breakfast, and use olive oil and margarine instead of butter or lard. Find some recipes that you like the look of, and make sure that you plan your week ahead. Write a shopping list and make sure that you have all the ingredients you need. Batch cooking can help save time when you’re having a tough day. The key is to remember that you are much more likely to stick to healthy eating habits if you enjoy what you are eating, so experiment and find some dishes that are good for your heart as well as your tastebuds.
Start Getting Checked Up Regularly
Every parent knows that it is easy to push your own health to the back burner when looking after your kids. How many times have you ignored a cold or a headache because someone’s got to do the school run or go to the store? No one is telling you that this is the wrong thing to do, but it is so important to take care of your own health when you can. Don’t forget that if you push yourself to the point where you are physically incapable of taking care of your kids, or if you ignore the warning signs of something serious, then you are all going to be in real trouble. If you notice something that seems like you should talk to a doctor about it, then make sure that you book that check-up.
On the note of check-ups, it is a very good idea to make sure that you are seeing your doctor for regular once-overs, and you should also think about booking in for additional health checks. Cancer screenings are quick and easy, and they can make a huge difference by spotting the problems that we either miss or ignore. This cancer screening service from Ezra is a great example of what you should be looking for. Their comprehensive scan can identify early warning signs and vastly improve your odds of fighting the illness.
Start Exercising Together
If you are lucky enough to be a parent who doesn’t have to encourage your kids to exercise, that does not mean that you could not use a little extra exercise time yourself. In 2018, it was reported that only 23% of Americans got enough exercise. Given everything that we have been through since then, it seems like that number won’t have got much better. If you have been looking for ways that you could get your family more interested in physical activity, then maybe it is time to start thinking about making it a team effort.
If your kids are less than enthusiastic about the idea of everyone exercising as a team (teenagers may find it tough to get on board with this one, for example), then why not think about setting some challenges instead? Download a fitness app that tracks your progress and performance and challenge your kids to better themselves, or you and your partner. Make sure that you keep it light and do not put too much pressure on them! Exercise is so important for our physical and mental wellbeing, and we should all be doing more now that the sun is back.
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