As loving, supportive parents, we all want the absolute best for our children…. and one of the greatest gifts we can give them is good health.
With the ever-growing childhood obesity problem, it’s even more important than ever, to provide our kids with the necessary tools (knowledge, skills and habits), to effectively self-care throughout their entire lives.
How do we begin to do that though, when there’s so much misinformation out there…. driven by industries that mislead us and overwhelm us with myths, fads and misconstrued truths!
Often the simplest solutions are the easiest to overlook, and in terms of our family’s health, getting back to basics is one of the greatest moves we can make. Try these simple steps for soaring health:
1: Eat Real Food
Nature already provides us with perfectly created food that supports the health of our bodies. Highly processed and manufactured foods on the other hand, can be extremely unhealthy (despite ‘health claims’ plastered all over their packaging).
Many of the processed foods we commonly find on supermarket shelves are often very low in beneficial nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fibre. Instead, they’re packed full of added sugars (refined), excess salt, excess saturated and trans fats, artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives. The ratio of beneficial nutrients to calories is extremely low and these ‘empty calories’ are easily converted and stored as excess body fat.
2: Drink Water
Our bodies need water to sustain life and in Australia, we are fortunate to have access to free, safe and calorie-free drinking water that keeps us well hydrated. There are no health benefits associated with drinking high calorie, chemically coloured beverages that are loaded with sugar.
Water, on the other hand, is not only the best way to quench our thirst but it’s also an essential nutrient for good health…. in fact our body needs more water than any other nutrient, including protein, carbohydrates and functional fats! It can also help us in the maintenance of a healthy body composition, by acting as a natural appetite suppressant and helping us to feel fuller for longer.
Aim to consume 2 litres of water every day, and even more if you’ve been particularly active or if the weather is extremely warm!
3: Get Moving
Our bodies are not designed to exist with a sedentary lifestyle. We have a skeleton, we have muscles, joints, and a whole range of other body systems that enable our bodies to move! We are anatomically and physiologically designed to run, jump, climb and play…. not to sit around all day (just observe any toddler!)
When we move and exercise, we experience a whole range of health benefits, including the reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stronger muscles and bones, better capacity to maintain a healthy body composition, reduced risk of cancer and an improved mental health status.
We feel more energetic and vibrant, there are greater social outcomes, and of course, we will live a better quality life for longer!
Aim to do 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week. 30 minutes, 5 days a week is an easy way to incorporate it.
The simple things often have the greatest impact. Try to incorporate these basics into your everyday life, and you’ll feel your health soar in no time!