Healthy and Happy Begins In the Home
By M. P. Mansfield AAS, LMT, CNMT
I would like to challenge each and every reader to make their healthy pursuits a family affair! With most lifestyle changes involving health improvement, I am borrowing the 5 pillars of a YMCA initiative: Healthy Family Home.
- Eat Healthy – Sound nutrition is the cornerstone to a healthy body. In today’s hectic, fast-paced world, processed foods have become a staple in the American home. Replacing processed foods with whole foods needing preparation is not an easy transition. By starting with a family night, where everyone is involved in preparing a meal (from the shopping for ingredients to the actual preparation), new habits are created to form a new, healthier foundation to build upon.
- Play Every Day – Childhood obesity is at an all time high in this Nation. Children are sitting more than they ever have(computers, video games, and television), physical education classes have been dramatically reduced in our schools, and yet the Recommended Daily Allowance for total calories consumed has not changed to reflect the inactivity that has become commonplace. As a family, adopt activities all can enjoy and sustain on a regular basis. Low-tech activities are the easiest to maintain, such as running, walking, cycling, Frisbee, basketball, soccer, and swimming to name a few. Regular movement of the body will help burn unused calories and prevent obesity and subsequent health issues.
- Get Together – In a “connected” world, families are becoming more and more disconnected by becoming over involved in the virtual, cyber world. Set aside family time that does not revolve around technology. Board games, crafts, social organizations, and volunteer work are ways to improve communication and learn more about each other. Turn off the TV, the computer, and telephone. Connect with family members on a daily basis and have fun!
- Go Outside – By going outside, while working toward the previous 3 goals, the family literally changes their environment in the home. By going outdoors, the body is exposed to an ever changing environment, helping to strengthen and bolster the body’s autoimmune system. Furthermore, more energy can be expended outdoors, making for a more balanced, peaceful home.
- Sleep Well – The body repairs itself during sleep. Restricted or lack of quality sleep, does not allow the body to recover from the day’s activity. This creates an imbalance that will manifest in diminished ability to focus and function correctly the following day. Eventually, the accumulated effects of poor sleep leads to health problems such as obesity, spastic muscles, breathing problems, and cognitive issues.
As a family, it can be agreed upon that it is best not to have televisions or computers on during sleep time. Ensuring a restful environment in each bedroom is the beginning to achieving good sleep patterns.
Success, whether individual or collective, cannot be achieved without the aid of others. With everything in human life revolving around and involving the balance and care of the human body, it only makes sense to strive to make healthy living a priority. Choose to make your efforts a family affair, helping others help you to evolve into a healthier better “you”.