You can build long-lasting, healthy habits for your family when you focus on these five key areas of your well-being.It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to choosing what’s best for your family. With so many different options, fad diets, warnings about toxins, and more it’s hard to know what to choose or where to even start. But it doesn’t have to be confusing! First, make sure that any new health habit or change that you are looking to implement with your family is evidence based. Double check that the information you’re getting is from a reputable source and has been backed by a health professional. Then, focus on the following five key areas of your life as an approachable way to optimize your family’s health and build habits that ensure you’ll feel great all-year long.
Five Key Components for Better Health
1. Nutrition: Quality Over Quantity
Nutrition at its most basic is your body’s fuel and provides you with the energy you need. Noticing your energy levels and how your body feels is a good way to check if you are getting adequate nutrition.
Food quality over quantity is the most important factor that applies to all people. That means focusing on whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, meats and beans; and real ingredients, over counting calories on the nutrition label of processed foods that are loaded with chemicals and additives. Chronic disease, autoimmune disorders, and obesity have been linked back to an excess consumption of processed foods.
Search for paleo and plant-based recipes, these are built on incorporating whole foods and minimizing processed ingredients.
2. Movement: Too Much or Not Enough?
Movement is a key component to well-being at every age. A sedentary lifestyle has been associated with onset of chronic disease. If you are required to sit for long periods of time, take breaks, go for a walk, or set a timer to get up and stretch.
Type of movement matters. Cardio exercises like running are great aerobic movement, however, they can increase stress levels in people who already live high-stress lives. Adding in strength-training, especially for women, is a great way to build muscle, which increases your metabolism, and fight osteoporosis.
Pay attention to your recovery, you should feel better after exercise – not worse. If you are feeling fatigued and like you need more time to recover after exercising, you may be hitting your upper limit.
3. Community: The Leading indicator of Health
Whether it be in person or online, having a community is the most important piece to living a long life. Feeling connected to others and a sense of belonging does more for our health than we realize and it’s been proven in the Blue Zone Studies!
Having groups that you and your family feel connected to is important, whether that be a moms group, sports team, or family and friends that you get together with regularly.
4. Environmental Toxins: What You Can Control
Decreasing toxin load has a huge impact on the rates of diseases diagnosed later in life. Focus on the toxin exposure you can control in your home, the food you eat and water you drink, and products you use.
Circulate the air in your home by opening a window if the air quality is good outdoors and replace air filters. Avoid buying water in plastic bottles and use an at-home filter instead for drinking water, there are also great options for shower filters to remove chemicals from your water. Pay attention to the ingredients in your personal products, using an app like Skin Deep is a quick way to check how clean a product is.
5. Mindset: Set the Tone for Success
Mindset sets the tone for how you see the world around you. Your mindset starts with what you say to yourself and will influence the choices you make throughout the day, including how you treat others.
Build a better mindset with your family. Start a gratitude journal where you write five things you are grateful for each day. Studies found that people who did this for six months had a more positive outlook even after they stopped the exercise, compared to people who never did.
Try meditation to reduce stress even if it’s just for five minutes a day. There are free apps like HeadSpace and Insight Timer to guide you if you’re new to meditation. Say positive affirmations with your family. Modeling saying positive things to yourself about yourself will encourage your family to do the same!
Focusing on these five key components of health builds the foundation of your family’s well-being. Start somewhere and build the habits with consistency over time. You’ll quickly begin to notice how your health and your family’s improves, you’re happier and feel more in balance all around!