A healthy lifestyle is crucial to maintaining our mental wellbeing and reducing our risks for illnesses. An essential first step in getting healthy is creating a favorable environment at home. Everything from meals to hygiene habits at home can make it easier or harder for family members to build a framework for healthy living for their entire lifetime. Let’s take a closer look at how the home environment affects the overall health of both children and adults.
Modern on-the-go lifestyles have made parents lose touch with their kitchens and opt for the more convenient fast foods, take-out, and snack foods rather than preparing healthy meals at home. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 3 children and teens in the US consume fast food each day. This has significantly contributed to the obesity epidemic. About a third of Americans are overweight, with approximately 13 million of them being children. Obesity is associated with severe health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
Preparing and cooking meals at home is vital to preventing obesity, especially childhood obesity, and helping both children and adults lead healthier and longer lives. Here are some healthy eating habits to implement at home:
●Eat together: Due to busy lifestyles, few families have time to share meals due to school, work, sports, and other similar activities. According to research, having a family meal together creates an enabling environment for eating healthier. Children in families that eat at least three meals in a week together are 24 percent more likely to consume healthy foods than those who come from families that share few or no family meals.
●Involve everyone in the meal-planning process: Homemade meals are lower in calories than restaurant foods. Involving everyone — and especially children — in planning and cooking meals allows them to get a deeper understanding of healthy eating habits. Go grocery shopping with them, show them how to read food labels, and choose dinner options together. Children take great delight in anything new they create, so allow them to take part in the preparation of meals. The quality family time that comes with including everyone in the process is a huge bonus.
●Eat more fruits and vegetables: Kids will eat what’s available at home. Stock the kitchen with vegetables and fruits to promote healthy snacking. They may not appreciate eating them in a solid form much, but they’ll undoubtedly love consuming them in juice form, so be sure to buy a best juicer for your home. Additionally, you can also add vegetables and fruits to the family’s favorite dishes as healthy sides and desserts this will sure to boost everyone's health.
●Reduce added sugars: Serve more water or milk and cut out or reduce sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks to limit sugar intake.
Parents serve as role models for the rest of the family. By eating healthy themselves, they encourage children to follow their lead. The children will gradually develop the same habits.
After a long day at school or work, people are more inclined to going home, grabbing the remote, and lying on the couch. While that can help them unwind, it doesn’t do any favors to their health. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to health problems such as heart disease and obesity.
As unbelievable as it may seem, exercise doesn’t have to involve hard work or hitting the gym. Anything that gets the joints moving, muscles working, and heart pumping faster can be considered as a form of exercise. There are countless chores that can be divided among members of a household to get them moving and burning calories. These include:
●Raking: People burn 225 calories when they rake for 30 minutes.
●Loading the dishwasher: Doing this for half an hour burns 105 calories.
●Scrubbing: Removing stubborn scum from tiles helps tone arms and shoulders, burning around 200 calories in the process.
●Dusting: A 30-minute dusting session burns about 50 calories.
●Vacuuming: You’ll burn close to 90 calories if you vacuum for 30 minutes.
●Washing the car: This gives the abdominals and arms a thorough workout
●Digging: Vigorous digging for 20 minutes strengthens cardiovascular systems.
Besides chores, playing games outside or going hiking can also prevent the family from remaining inert, thus developing a healthy home environment.
Cleanliness is vital to overall health. Microbes can easily collect at home. If left unchecked, they can rapidly multiply and cause various illnesses. The common culprits include mold, which can aggravate asthma and cause skin and eye irritation, staphylococcus bacteria that can cause food poisoning, pneumonia, and boils, and salmonella and E. coli that can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, and severe vomiting. Some of the areas that are commonly contaminated include:
While chemical cleaning agents can help get rid of contaminants, some can harm your health. Such products contain toxins linked to health problems like asthma, allergies, developmental delays, reproductive issues, and cancer. When looking for a strong germ-killing solution, only consider products with the EPA’s Safer Choice label. You could also opt for natural products like baking soda, castile soap, hydrogen peroxide, and vinegar.
Instilling healthy living at home will help family members improve their wellbeing and develop positive habits that will follow them for the rest of their lives.
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