Have you been putting off making changes that could improve your family’s health? It can be difficult to implement lifestyle changes, especially when you have young children in the house, so you may put off those changes until the time is better. But that “right time” never does quite arrive. With the start of the new year, the best time to make those changes? It’s right now.
Take advantage of a fresh start in 2020 and make this the year you improve your family’s health. Set some health goals for your family, whether it’s getting more active, eating better, or prioritizing your mental health for increased happiness. These goals will give you something definite to work toward this year, and the following changes can help you to meet those goals.
Create a Healthy Home
Your family spends a lot of time in your home, so start by making sure that the space is as healthy as possible for all of you. This is the perfect time to make sure that you’ve recently put new batteries in your smoke detectors and to also install high-quality carbon monoxide detectors in the home. Carbon monoxide exposure can cause issues from dizziness to confusion to difficulty breathing, and if unnoticed, it can be deadly. Make sure that your home is well-protected against this threat.
Your home’s air quality also affects your family’s health. If you have an HVAC or air conditioner, have the unit professionally serviced yearly and also make sure that you change the filter regularly to ensure that your family is breathing healthy, clean air. You can also invest in an air purifier to remove pet dander, mold spores, and other pollutants from the air. An air purifier can be highly valuable if your child is diagnosed with a chronic illness, like asthma or allergies, since poor-quality air can aggravate these conditions.
Focus on Diet and Health
Making some diet changes this year may also help to improve your family’s health. In addition to increasing your healthy eating habits, you may need to make other diet changes to determine if your child has a food allergy. Food allergies in children are common, with about 7.6% of babies and children having these allergies. Some of the most common food allergies are to tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, cow’s milk, peanuts, wheat, and soy.
In many cases, food allergies can cause symptoms like wheezing, a stuffy nose, coughing, stomach pain, and diarrhea. If your child frequently has these types of symptoms, it may be related to their diet. Changing your diet so that you eliminate these potential foods may reveal a food allergy or sensitivity. Your doctor can also perform allergy tests to identify potential food allergies.
Start New Outdoor Hobbies
Taking up new outdoor hobbies can be great for your whole family, and spending time outdoors can help to simultaneously improve both your physical and mental health. A new hobby will be mentally stimulating, and it will incentivize your family to get out of the house. If you take up a physical hobby, like a sport, you’ll enjoy increased physical fitness as a result, too. Look for new activities that your whole family can engage in together to create valuable bonding and memory-making opportunities.
To find ideal new hobbies, think about the types of things that your family enjoys doing. If you love spending time on the water, then trying a new related activity, like stand up paddleboarding, might be ideal. If your family loves sports, then a new sport like ultimate frisbee might appeal to everyone. Even taking up metal detecting can be a fun new hobby that your whole family can enjoy.
There are plenty of other hobby options that can help you to spend time outdoors, from taking up gardening to experimenting with outdoor photography. To learn some new hobbies, consider taking a class that’s offered locally. Your recreation center may have a list of upcoming class offerings.
Travel More Often
Traveling can be great for your family’s health. Spending just a few days away can help to relieve stress and give you a mental break from the demands of your life. Traveling also results in a natural increase in physical activity, and people who visit a new city walk an average of eight miles a day while they’re on vacation.
Plan to do more traveling with your family in 2020. This doesn’t have to be a big week-long vacation to another state or country; even just a day trip within your own state can increase your family’s activity and serve to give you a break from spending time at home. Take a look at your calendar now and mark off a few dates so that you and your family can plan some trips.
By making just a few lifestyle changes, you can keep your family healthy in 2020 for a fun and enjoyable year.