How Can I Stay Healthy? 5 Tips for Active Parents
The life of today’s parent is full of commitments, responsibilities, and distractions. It all makes for a very hectic schedule that often leaves you wondering where all the time went. And opportunities to focus on self care and personal wellness? Forget about it!
Seriously, how can anyone squeeze in time for the gym when all you seem to do is fit in meals and homework between shifts as your kid’s personal Uber driver?
It can be maddening at times, but trust us… There are things you can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle amongst all the hustle and bustle.
Here are just five of those things.
1. Make better meal choices.
Hey, we get it. Fast food and TV dinners seem like the reasonable “go-to” solution for families on the go, but if that’s your idea of a family meal plan then good luck!
Take 15-30 minutes a week to lay out your breakfast, lunch and dinner selections.
When planning meals, avoid fried food, high levels of fat, and simple carbs. Incorporate lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, and whole grains whenever possible. Pay attention to the labels on your food and try to keep your total calories from fat below 35%. Avoid simple sugars as much as possible.
Yes, this takes some effort but if you schedule the time to do this each week, you’ll find this task a lot easier than you might imagine. Before long, it will become routine.
Also, use this time for some family bonding as you get everyone together; take suggestions and requests for each person’s favorite dish.
2. Double down on your walks.
One really nice thing about the modern world we live in is the ability to take our conversations, email sorting, book reading, and podcast listening anywhere we go.
Taking a brisk 2-3 mile walk will burn a lot more calories than you might think, so why not make some of your office time mobile? Rack up your step count and accomplish some digital tasks at the same time.
Believe it or not, simply fitting in one walk a day will do wonders for your fitness levels and emotional well-being.
3. Limit snacks in the house.
Hey, we are all for having fun and enjoying some tasty treats occasionally, but salty and sweet snacks like cookies and chips need to be limited. When you stock up on bags of junk food and the like, it’s just natural that those things get devoured at lightning speeds.
Consider buying snacks that are portion controlled and make it a rule that only (X) amount of snacks can be eaten each day. If anyone complains about being hungry afterwards, show them the fruit and vegetable drawer and tell them to “Have at it!”
4. Make time for family “exercise.”
Don’t panic, we aren’t telling you to start running a boot camp in your basement with a fully outfitted gym and loud music to boot. However, it’s easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle when everyone is involved.
Find activities, games, and sports that all enjoy and make time each week to get everyone involved. This could be walks in the park, runs, kickball, basketball, or even games of four square. The point is to get outdoors and get the blood pumping.
This will not only keep everyone’s activity levels up, but it also allows for quality family time – something that is often in short supply when life is always on the go.
5. When in doubt… get your steps in.
One really easy way to keep the daily movement levels up is choosing to walk or step whenever the opportunity arises.
This may mean taking that parking spot all the way at the farthest point from the door so you get some additional steps in. Or, instead of using the elevator, always opting for the stairs so you can get that pulse rate up.
The goal is simple. Get your steps in whenever and wherever possible. Believe it or not, they add up!
Being a parent today is challenging, there is no doubt about that. Consequently, it takes some creativity and commitment to keep yourself on the road to wellness and healthy choices.
It is possible! Just seize the opportunities that life gives you.
If you need any help with your meal planning and personal health journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Bee Healthy Clinic nearest you.