30 Tips to Keep Your Kids (and Yourself) Healthy from 30 Tips to Keep Your Kids (and Yourself) Healthy

30 Tips to Keep Your Kids (and Yourself) Healthy

30 Tips to Keep Your Kids (and Yourself) Healthy

It’s not enough to make sure that your children are physically safe by keeping an eye on what may cause injuries such as electric switches and other sick kids. Openly talking to them and doing what they should be doing will do wonders. Kids learn habits by watching what people around them do. This may be an overwhelming responsibility but it’s a job you have to embrace and do to the best of your ability. Follow healthy and safe habits and the little ones will follow them, too.

Play outside

Play outside

iStock

Try choosing an activity that is exercise, but not a traditional track and field or gym activity. Go for a hike up a mountain trail. Play tag (they’ll learn skills such as hiding, observation) make them climb and jump, and reward them with the achievement of “reaching the goal” at the end.

Go bike riding

Go bike riding

iStock

From health benefits to boosting your mood, and even saving you big money, cycling seems to be a great hobby for happiness. Biking is an aerobic activity that will benefit your heart health, strengthens the legs, prevents obesity, and helps save the environment. Just three miles (or about 18 minutes) a day will do.

Take them camping

Take them camping

iStock

The benefits of taking the kids camping seem endless. They'll learn new skills such as build your own fire and shelter and cook your own food. Also, getting away from all the artificial light will keep your and their circadian rhythm in check – essentially the body’s natural cycle. This is good particularly when it comes to sleep.

Get enough sleep

Get enough sleep

iStock

This is the age of sleep deprivation. People need to develop a habit of going to bed earlier, not using electronic device before bed, and to learn to follow through, experts say. Many studies have shown how sleep is key to overall health and wellness. It is a chance for the body to repair and refresh itself. If we are constantly not getting enough sleep, all of the major systems can be affected.

Improve quality of your sleep

Improve quality of your sleep

Shutterstock

Getting more Zzz’s is important but the quality of the sleep is equally significant. Meditate for a few minutes or practice some gentle, restorative yoga poses before bed. Kids can do yoga, too. Disconnect from the screen, whether TV or phone, at least one hour before bed. Read a book that entices your imagination. There are even certain foods you can eat to help you sleep your best.

Take naps

Take naps

Shutterstock

Not only are they encouraged but quick power naps may even be a secret to live a long, happy life. The best kind of nap is 20-30 minutes long and taken around the same time during the day. Avoid extended naps after 4 p.m. because they can mess with your ability to fall asleep later. Take a nap to improve your memory, alertness and ability to retain information.

Follow the 80-20 rule when eating

Follow the 80-20 rule when eating

iSTock

The 80:20 ratio when it comes to food is a golden rule, according to nutritionists. Getting and staying in shape is 80 percent about what you eat and 20 percent about how active you are. This ratio also applies to time. You won’t be in control of what your child eats all the time. Don’t aim to be perfect when it comes to eating and make sure the kids are consuming nutritionally rich foods at least 80 percent of the time.

Make exercise fun

Make exercise fun

Shutterstock

Don’t make the kids think they are doing any work and they’ll enjoy the activity. It’s all about creating positive emotions. How about martial arts or ballet lessons? This way they are getting the benefits of both exercising and learning to stay focused on one thing for longer. Working on one’s attention system is always a great idea.

Drink more water

Drink more water

iStock

Drinking water, plain, naturally flavored with fruits, or in soups or other foods, is crucial to your health. Water is energy for the muscles, it helps the kidneys stay healthy, your skin looks radiant, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, it improves digestion, it reduces the risk for cancer, and it keeps your cholesterol in check.

Cut sugar

Cut sugar

Shutterstock

Consuming too much sugar unleashes a vicious cycle of health problems. Most Americans consume over three times what they should be, according to USDA, with teens and men munching on the largest amounts. The result is chaos, stress and overload for the body that can lead to both physical and mental illnesses.

Keep junk food to a minimum

Keep junk food to a minimum

iSTock

Junk foods typically contain chemicals, additives and preservatives that are not healthy. This is why cardiologists would never eat them. Fresh foods provide much better nutrients and have fewer calories. Junk food has flavor enhancers that are artificially produced.  In addition, these foods always contain a very high sodium load, which is bad for the heart. The extra water stored in the body raises blood pressure.

No soda for either of you

No soda for either of you

iStock

Artificial sweeteners like aspartame are even worse than sugar. They are in anything “diet” like diet cola, or sugar-free. Asparatme is a neurotoxin that has sweetening properties to it.  Many people drink diet sodas because they think they are losing weight, but research shows that it can contribute to more weight gain than refined sugar. Soda increases your cravings for carbs, and increases the amount of fat your body stores. It does so by 2 amino acids – aspartic acid and phenylalanine which stimulate insulin and leptin and an adverse way.

Brush your teeth at night

Brush your teeth at night

Shutterstock

You don’t want food sticking to your teeth forming plaque and causing decay. Also, putting all benefits to your dental health of brushing your teeth, this small trick has a psychological payback as well. The feeling of fresh breath and clean mouth discourages some people from grabbing a quick snack. Under a time crunch? Just use mouthwash.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands

iStock

Keeping your hands clean is one of the most important things you can do to avoid getting sick. We touch bacteria-infested surfaces all day long and are constantly spreading germs to others. One of the easiest ways to reduce the chance of infection is to wash your hands. Don’t forget your fingernails and forearms.

Don’t share personal items

Don’t share personal items

iStock

Items such as toothbrushes, combs, lipsticks, chopstick, spoons, water bottles, etc. should not be shared with other kids. You don’t want to transfer germs and bacteria that can make you sick. For the same reason you cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and don’t touch other people’s blood, urine, stool, or other body fluids.

Minimize in-home hazards

Minimize in-home hazards

Shutterstock

For example, get rid of the oven cleaners. They have sodium hydroxide, which is also found in drain openers. The chemical is very corrosive and can cause redness and skin burns if it comes in contact with the skin. It’s toxic if ingested. The multipurpose cleaners have 2-butoxyethanol, the ingredient that gives cleaners their distinct smell. Many products don’t list this harmful chemical on the label because they are not legally required to do so. Side effects include breathing problems, low blood pressure, lowered levels of hemoglobin, and metabolic acidosis (high levels of acid in the body). Get rid of these items immediately.

Sign up for sports classes

Sign up for sports classes

Shutterstock

The earlier you start exposing your children to sports the better. Enroll them in the local school or activity center. Sign up with them to make it a bonding experience if you will. Swimming, soccer, volleyball, tennis, lacrosse – any sport really is a good idea. The key is to find what they like and keep at it. You may have to go through many sports before you find the ones that your child will enjoy.

Jump rope

Jump rope

iStock

Head outside with your child and a jump rope. It helps with agility and quickness skills, it increases bone density, it’s good for the brain (as is any aerobic activity), and it’s affordable. All you need a rope, which is also very convenient to carry around. You can jump rope literally almost everywhere.

Get some fresh air

Get some fresh air

Shutterstock

Soaking in the sunshine gets your child their daily dose of Vitamin D. It helps boost immunity and prevent a variety of infections. Fresh air is healthy, too. Take a break from the stiff air inside your house or apartment, which can actually carry several unhealthy pollutants.

Limit TV/tech time

Limit TV/tech time

Shutterstock

Limit the amount of time kids are in front of the TV or on their phones. Two hours a day is a healthy suggestion, according to experts. It’s not a coincidence that these days there is a push to make Apple build less addictive phones. There are many reasons to stop looking at your phone all the time. Get outside and explore the world around you.

Go on weekend getaways

Go on weekend getaways

Shutterstock

It’s easy to get restless in the city. The weekend is supposed to be a time for relaxation and having fun. What better way to do exactly that than to go little trips and explore places you haven’t seen before? Go hiking, camping, kayaking, skiing, etc. Here are several suggestions for a weekend getaway that won’t break the bank.

Live a smoke-free life

Live a smoke-free life

Shutterstock

You consume many toxic chemicals when you smoke. Research shows that circadian clock function is disrupted by environmental tobacco, hurting your sleep. Smoking, including second-hand smoking, is by far among the absolute worst things you can do to your body. There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke; it contains more than 7,000 chemicals, according to the CDC.

Get vaccinated

Get vaccinated

Shutterstock

Doctors stress the importance of getting the flu shot as asthmatics are much more susceptible to getting sicker and having a full blown asthma attack, or worse, being admitted to the hospital, Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network, says. Remember, flu shots are made with dead viruses or without any viruses at all. So you can’t catch the flu from a flu shot because the inactivated virus in the shot can’t transmit the disease.

Eat more fruits and veggies

Eat more fruits and veggies

Shutterstock

Eating healthier is a lot about consuming more fruits and vegetables. They add essential nutrients to diets, reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and help manage healthy body weight. The recommended servings is two fruits and three vegetables daily. Sneakily adding fruits and vegetables into whatever you are baking so the kids eat them without even noticing is much easier than you think.

Learn new things

Learn new things

iStock

Recent research has found that brain age decreases by 0.95 years for each year of education (and by 0.58 years for every daily flight of stairs climbed). So keep your mind occupied. The brain is a muscle and like all muscles it needs to be exercised. Sign up for language classes with your kids or learn a new dance.

Socialize

Socialize

iStock

Many books by pediatricians say that, after years of research, the single most important key to happiness is having friends. Studies show people that have connections with small or large groups of people have stronger immune systems.

Do some yoga

Do some yoga

iStock

Kids and yoga make a perfect pair. Think about it—kids love to move their bodies, they enjoy imitating animals and they have lots and lots of energy just waiting to be channeled into something productive. Not only does the practice build mental and physical strength but it also teaches about the body, balance and the importance of taking care of one’s self.

Learn to breathe properly

Learn to breathe properly

iStock

When stressed and anxious, people stop breathing, which further stresses the system and make people feel even more tired, irritable and cranky. Slow down and take deep breaths. They bring more oxygen to the brain and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces calmness. Alternate nostril breathing is a quick and calming way to restore balance, remove toxins, and rejuvenate the nervous system. A few minutes a day will do. You can see how in this video.

Wear sunscreen

Wear sunscreen

Shutterstock

Dermatologists recommend to patient to wear sunscreen all the time. Everyone gets incidental exposures of sun that in some cases can cause sunburn and significant skin damage. Wearing sunscreen on a regular basis can help prevent this. Harmful UV rays penetrate clouds and get to your skin if it’s not protected.

Avoid touching your face

Avoid touching your face

iStock

It’s very simple – Your face is among the easiest places for germs to enter the body. And chances are the kids touch it all the time. Keep your hands down or at least wash them before you reach for your face, eyes, mouth or ears.

30 Tips to Keep Your Kids (and Yourself) Healthy