Making 2017 a Healthy Year
Happy New Year! The start of a new year brings new beginnings and challenges to be better than the previous year. One of the most common resolutions people make for a new year is to be fit and healthy. Healthy living does not just include your body; it also includes your heart and mind. When you are well-nourished, alert, fit, relaxed, and well-rested your mind is sharp. However if our bodies, hearts, and minds are unhealthy, we will not be able to function and work to the best of our ability. Additionally, if we do not strive to keep ourselves healthy, it can lead to unnecessary stress. This applies to adults, as well as kids. How can we get 2017 off to a great start for our kids and teach them the importance of taking care of their health? Read our blog for some tips on making 2017 a healthy year!
We all know that eating a healthy diet is the best way to take care of your body. But did you know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? This meal often gets overlooked by kids, especially teens. Just like cars cannot run without fuel, our bodies need energy to work. Especially after a night’s sleep, energy levels are low. Before heading off to school, it is very important to start the day with breakfast. Plenty of carbohydrates are the key: try toast or bread, or cereal with milk, fruit or yogurt.
As well as giving your body all the food it needs each day to keep healthy, it is important to drink water and keep yourself hydrated. When the body is well-hydrated, you are less likely to indulge in sugary foods. It is particularly important if the weather is very hot or if you have done a lot of exercise, to have plenty to drink. Plain water is the best but juice, tea, soft drinks can all be okay from time to time. Adding fresh fruit to your water is a great way to make drinking lots of water a bit more fun! Taking a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go is a way to make sure you get the water you need. Make a contest out of it and try to beat yourself each day!
You've probably heard many times how exercise is "good for you” but do you know all the benefits that exercise provides? Along with giving you stronger muscles and bones, maintaining weight and decreasing your risk of disease - exercise can also improve your mood! It affects the chemicals in your brain. When you move, you get more energy and stay calmer. Because a good workout gets your blood flowing, more oxygen gets to your brain. And that means you can think better. So what can you do to make sure you’re getting enough exercise and still have fun?
Have a family competition. Activity trackers are becoming more and more popular among kids and adults. Whether it’s a Nike FuelBand, FitBit, pedometer, or even a stopwatch, kids love measuring their activity, and activity trackers can be used as great motivating tools. Schedule a weekly competition and see who can get the most steps! It is also important to set aside time for exercise. Schools have recess for a reason – to get out, move, and be active. Set up a “family recess” on the weekend. (You can even schedule a weekly recess in your Success By Design planner!) Not only will your family benefit from the physical activity, it will also provide you with some great family time!
Most people recognize that nutrition and exercise are fundamental to good health, yet fail to acknowledge that sleep is just as important. Your body and your mind need sleep. When your body doesn't have enough hours to rest, you may feel tired and unable think clearly. Researchers believe too little sleep can affect growth and your immune system. So what can you do to ensure your family gets a good night’s sleep?
Implement a bedtime routine for all members of the family. We all need a cue that it’s time to wind down and ready our bodies for sleep. Try to keep a regular bedtime and wake time - even on the weekends. The use of electronics too close to bedtime can lead to difficulty falling and staying asleep. Shutting off screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime is a great rule to implement for the entire family.
We live in a busy world, but if we choose to make our health a priority, we will be setting ourselves up for success. Following our tips for making 2017 a healthy year will get you and your family off to a great start. For more fitness tips – check out our Lessons for Success on health and fitness.