Exercise Nutrition Sleep Stress
Growing healthy homes isn't as easy as putting it on your to-do list and wishing, hoping, desiring that it comes true. It requires a bit of work and planning. Keep reading for some tips on how to create a healthy home that's an all-rounder.
Did you know that a survey in 2021 of Americans revealed that 60% of them want to be healthier and 51% want to lose weight by changing their diets and exercising? Are you one of these many Americans who's feeling like a change is in order when it comes to a healthier home?
The first area that all Americans could do a lot of improvement in has to be nutrition. Maybe you think you are already eating a healthy diet, but after reading the suggestions below you will be surprised at how much you could still improve your family's diet. Don't stay mediocre, but strive to be better and better every day!
Every person on this planet could do with more green leafy vegetables in their diet and less meat. It's not that you need to remove meat from your diet completely. But you need to ensure that at least half your plate is filled with fibrous vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, or spinach.
The more vibrantly green your greens are, the more antioxidants and nutrition they have. Too many of us are eating way too many calories, but not enough nutritious calories. Add green leafy veggies to your plate to get that natural bonus of life-giving vitamins and minerals.
If you aren't eating enough fish in your diet or other omega-3 rich foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, and olive oil, then consider adding those items to your diet. Or add an omega-3 supplement to your diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary to improve heart health and brain function and reduce the bad cholesterol in our diets.
Does your breakfast and dinner plate look the same day in and day out? Is it always cereal for breakfast and meat and potatoes for dinner in your family?
Get out of this food rut by mixing and matching a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs to create a rainbow-colored feast for your eyes and body. The more colorful and vibrant your plate can be, filled with as many different kinds of foods as possible, the wider variety of vitamins and minerals you will end up getting.
If you only eat the same thing day after day, you are going to miss out on certain elements, which means you might start to get uncontrollable cravings or certain illnesses as your body tries to compensate for the lack.
Eggs aren't a breakfast food and spaghetti isn't only for dinners. Stop believing that certain foods can only be eaten at certain times.
You can eat eggs ole (Mexican-style) for dinner and you can have spaghetti or rice and curry for breakfast. Many cultures around the world don't discriminate against foods like Americans do and eat all sorts of items for all their meals.
Maybe you have had a busy day and you can't help but eat a huge meal right before you go to bed. But if you make a habit of this, you are going to have a hard time digesting such a huge meal, your sleep will be affected, and you will end up being groggy all day long the day after. This could have a cascade effect on your week and ruin your health for a while to come.
A bit of forward-thinking will help in this regard. If you know you are going to be busy on certain nights, do a bit of meal planning or prep so you don't have to eat dinner right before you fall asleep. Up the ante on lunch on those days so you eat most of your calories during the day and have a light dinner at night.
There are many ways you can avoid all these pitfalls of nutrition, but it does require you to be a bit more aware and conscious about your weekly meal planning.
The most important thing you can do for your and your family's health is to become more active. This doesn't mean that you need to start running marathons and become a bodybuilder.
Working up to 10,000 steps a day is a huge step in the right direction. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking your car far away from the store, and walking the few steps in, taking your children for a hike through the forest rather than sitting in front of the TV on the weekend, are all things you can do to get more active.
As with nutrition, many people think they are too busy to spend any time thinking about it. But even a bit of forethought can change the entire landscape of your family's health.
In the 21st century, stress has become such a normal part of everyone's lifestyle that if someone doesn't complain about being stressed every five minutes, it seems like something's missing. But does it have to be this way?
Just because everyone has accepted the idea that stress is necessary for our daily lives, doesn't mean that we can't do something to improve stress levels and alleviate it by a bit or even by a lot.
Realize first that there are two kinds of stressors out there - positive stressors like studying for an exam or running a marathon, and negative stressors like an argument in the family or a divorce. The way to improve your stress levels is by reducing the negative stressors in your life and keeping steady or increasing the positive stressors.
Also, another thing to repeat throughout the day when you feel your stress levels are out of control is the Serenity prayer. "Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
Remember that your faith in God will carry you through the day - you can only focus on the things you can change and improve, the rest is up to the divine creator.
1 in 3 Americans are not getting enough sleep throughout the week. This creates a huge sleep debt which takes a toll on health in immeasurable terms. Good quality sleep can have a positive effect on so many different factors in our life that scientists are still surprised by how many health variables sleep affects.
Of course, you could make physical changes in your bedroom to ensure you get great sleep, like getting a white noise machine, purchasing a good quality mattress and pillows, and keeping the temperature in your bedroom cool.
But more than that, you will need to do a nightly digital detox. This means stopping usage of all digital electronics (tablets, TV, smartphones, and laptops) an hour or so before you fall asleep. Your brain will have a chance to relax and it will give a strong signal to your body that it's time to fall asleep.
Don't watch one more show before you fall asleep or play one more Candy Crush game. It interferes with melatonin production in the brain and can cause your sleep cycle to be adversely affected.
Everything you do towards improving your physical health is inconsequential if you don't take care of your mental health at the same time. You could be the fittest person in the world, but if your mental health is suffering, you are going to be living in hell.
What does improving mental health mean to you? It could be as simple as spending quality time with your family and friends regularly. Or it could mean walking through the nearby park, with no one around and nothing stealing your peace.
Everyone is going to have a different meaning of good mental health. That's why you need to figure out what peace of mind means to you and find a way to bring more of that into your life. Make this a priority, as much as investing into your 401(k) or paying your bills on time, would be.
You are not the exception to the rule. If you think that everyone else can have a healthier home, but not you, you are wrong.
It does take a bit of practice and work at first, but soon all the items mentioned above will become commonplace and habitual to you, and won't take up more than a few minutes of prep every week.
Think about all the gains you and your family will have with healthy living at home.
If you would like some more support on your 'growing healthy homes' quest, checkout our online wellness course for healthier living.
Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of SupplementRelief.com in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.
Learn more about Jay Todtenbier.
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