This post is contributed.
As a parent, you can become so dedicated to the physical and mental wellbeing of your children that you start to neglect your own health. But the best thing you can do for your kids is to live a healthy lifestyle on a personal level. You’ll be a better parent if you’re in good physical and psychological shape, after all. Still, that’s easier said than done when you’re busy with work, chores, and the upbringing of your children. How do you find the time to stay healthy? Here’s some advice on taking care of yourself as a busy parent.
Start creating more nutritious meals.
You might nag your kids to eat their greens, but how healthy are your own meals? If you’re rushing around doing house chores or getting ready for work in the morning then you might not find the time to make yourself some proper food, but nutrition is just as important for adults as it is for kids. Eating greens doesn’t just help with mental growth and development; it keeps you physically and mentally healthy on many levels. You might feel tired and unproductive after a busy day, but a diet that’s full of iron-rich food such as fruit and vegetables could help to give you more energy. The ironic thing is that eating well will make you more efficient and better able to deal with a busy day. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming thing.
It’s often advised that you make your plate as colorful as possible, as we’ve mentioned on this site before. Obviously, don’t misinterpret that; a plate full of colorful Cheerios, for example, isn’t a healthy meal. The point is that filling and nutritious meals should have a healthy balance of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and so on; in other words, you need to eat plenty of whole foods. If you opt for more organic food options as opposed to processed food then you’ll start getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need without all the unnecessary junk that comes with manufactured options. People worry so much about calories, but calories aren’t the problem; food that’s lacking in nutritional value is the problem. As long as you stick to a moderated diet and follow your recommended calorie intake then you don’t have to worry about eating too much. You just have to think about eating enough of the right food.
Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
Many parents struggle to find the time for exercise because it sounds like an intimidating and time-consuming hobby. But it’s a necessity for all of us. It might not be as easy to run even 100 yards as it was when you were younger, but that doesn’t mean physical activity is any less important. And you don’t have to find the time for 3-hour sessions at the gym if you want to get in shape. The goal is simply to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. If you can exercise for even 20 minutes every day then it’ll make a huge difference to your physical and emotional health. After all, exercise releases endorphins in the brain, so it can hugely improve your mental state. But it also has positive benefits for the health of your heart. It’s not just your waistline that benefits from working out.
And there are plenty of workout routines that can benefit parents with a frantic lifestyle. You might want to learn more at Momsintofitness.com. You could get ideas for plenty of time-friendly exercises. You don’t have to overthink physical exercise. Just find a way to get your body moving every single day. Maybe you could do some push-ups or even jog on the spot whilst you’re waiting for your toast to pop up in the morning. Maybe you could go on a brisk stroll with colleagues during your lunch break at work. Or maybe you could take up a yoga or pilates class in your local area. There are so many ways to easily fit physical exercise into your daily routine. It doesn’t have to be a big thing.
Get a good night’s sleep.
So many parents neglect this important part of a healthy lifestyle. As an adult, you probably don’t have anyone nagging you to get into bed early anymore, but it’s up to you to be that nagging voice. You should set family bedtimes. If you get your kids into a healthy routine then why shouldn’t you do the same? Again, it’s easy to say that these things are more important for children because they’re still growing, but a strong sleeping pattern is still crucial for adults. Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, slow your metabolism, lessen your concentration, and even negatively impact your heart and mental health.
All the other health advice suggested in this article might not give you the results you want if you’re not getting enough rest every night. Get a good night’s sleep every night if you really want to take care of yourself as a busy parent. And don’t use your hectic lifestyle as an excuse for sleep deprivation. If you start getting in bed early and getting your 8 hours of sleep then you’ll be more productive throughout the day. As mentioned earlier when we talked about following a healthy diet, staying healthy makes you less busy. Being strong in the body and the mind means you can tackle the challenges of the day more effectively. Think about that if it’s the incentive you need to get into a regular bedtime routine.
Quit bad habits.
It’s easy to pick up unhealthy habits as an adult. Some of them have already been mentioned throughout this article. Eating junk because it’s easier than preparing proper meals and sleeping poorly are good examples. It’s time to start valuing your health. Quit bad habits so that you can start to enjoy a better quality of physical and mental wellbeing. Maybe you drink too much, smoke too many cigarettes, or consume too much sugar. In terms of the latter, an article at realsimple.com suggests that eating raspberries can help satiate sugar cravings. Fruit (full of natural sugars) can be a healthy alternative that keeps a sweet tooth at bay. As for drinking and smoking too much, the goal is to wean yourself off these things and avoid temptations. It depends on the extent of your bad habits, of course. Seek the support of loved ones if you’re struggling to stop unhealthy behavior.