Healthy Habits for the Whole Family
Writer/ Melissa Horsell – Owner of Jazzercise Louisville
Creating and sharing healthy habits with your family is a great way to bring the family together while also passing on the wonderful gift of physical and mental health. Making a regular habit of a few simple things can be fun and extremely rewarding.
You have probably heard a million times to take the stairs instead of the elevator or to park in a parking spot furthest from the building to get more steps in, but healthy habits can be FUN! Playing outside as a family is a great way to get moving and enjoy time with your loved ones. Taking walks together is great exercise. And, if you take that walk after dinner it will aid in digestion!
Come together as a family to take care of your body from the inside! Eat around the dinner table as often as possible. This is a great opportunity to connect with every member of the family. You can also pull the family into meal preparation by allowing each member to select the fresh vegetable to be served on a given night. The simple habit of only drinking water at meals not only hydrates your body but saves you from consuming hundreds of empty calories (and it’s cheaper, too!).
Sleep is an incredibly powerful tool in your effort to be healthy as it restores the body and mind. For it to be effective, one needs to get the right amount. Ranges vary based on age, but in general, school-age children should get nine to 11 hours of sleep per night while teenagers need eight to 10 hours and adults require approximately seven to nine hours sleep each night. It also vital to maintain a schedule as closely as possible so you go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day.
Creating a bedtime routine for your children, whether it is a bath, reading, singing or another calming activity you enjoy together will get them settled and ready for a good night’s sleep. Crucial habits to promote quality sleep include avoiding caffeine at least six hours prior to going to bed as well as turning off electronics at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Lastly, don’t forget to take care of your mental health by reviewing or making a gratitude list before bed which will leave you feeling content before sleep.
Don’t be daunted! As with any habit, it starts with doing something just once. Support and encourage each other along the way. Healthy habits can be fun and easy – just take it one step at a time and remember that every healthy habit you create will lead to a happier, stronger and healthier family.