Once you have a family, you no longer have just your own health to worry about, you now have to consider the wellbeing of everyone – including young children, who rely primarily on you to keep them in good shape.
So, with that in mind, here are four ways to look after your families health this year:
- Quit smoking
Are you a smoker? Well, smoking isn’t only bad for your own health, it is bad for the health of everyone in your home. More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, so even though you may think you are being careful, your family will still be breathing in harmful poisons. Breathing second-hand smoke increases a child’s or an adult’s risk of lung cancer by 24% and heart disease by 25%.
Children are particularly vulnerable to secondhand smoke as their airways, lungs and immune systems are less developed than those of an adult. That is why the law has changed recently to make it illegal to smoke in the car with someone under 18 present.
If you find the thought of quitting daunting, why not try moving to an e-cigarette to start with – you can even get flavoured e-liquid from Phoenix to help the transition go smoothly. Alongside this take advantage of the NHS Smokefree support and you will be a non-smoker in no time!
- Watch what you eat…
Your diet has a huge impact on your overall health and as much as your kids love chicken nuggets and chips, serving this up to them every night is only going to be detrimental to them. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for everyone, but children in particular need to receive all of the necessary nutrients for growth and development.
This year make sure the whole family are getting their 5-a-day – swap chocolate bars for an apple and chips for vegetables. Why not encourage this by growing fruit and vegetables in the garden with the kids? Then they can see where it comes from and how it makes its way from the ground to their dinner plate.
- … and drink!
We all know sugary drinks are bad for us, which is why the government, in response to growing fears over obesity, has decided to put a sugar tax on the UK’s sugary drinks.
Encourage your children (and yourself) to drink more water and less sweetened drinks. This includes fizzy drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks, even some milky drinks and 100% fruit juices. Bear in mind that children tend to drink fewer sweet drinks when they are not freely available in the home.
- Become more active
Motivating yourself to be active can be difficult, let alone trying to motivate your kids to be active too. But, as much as they may want to sit in front of the TV or PlayStation, all children should be active for at least an hour a day. This could be as simple as leaving the car at home during the school run and walking or cycling to school.
How about going on an active holiday this year? It’s a great way to get fit, have fun and could be easily achieved with a simple camping holiday – that includes cycling, swimming, walking and so on.
Likewise, why not use this as an opportunity to add a dog to the family? If, of course, you are in a position to do so, dogs require plenty of exercise and it could be a fun way of getting your recommended amount everyday.