by Rachel Perrier on 9 January 2015
January can feel like the most miserable month in the year as we are all suffering an anti climax after the Christmas celebrations and the days seem to be so cold and dark. Feasting over the Christmas holidays and watching too much television has a negative impact on our waistlines and general fitness. The beginning of a new year is often regarded as the perfect time to start afresh and either give up activities that are bad for us or take up hobbies that will improve our general well being.
Making New Years resolutions are often an attempt to improve our lives but in our enthusiasm we tend to set ourselves unachievable goals that cause us to give up almost immediately. Here are a list of five simple changes that you can make as a whole family so that you can live a healthier happier life.
Wiggle It Just A Little Bit
Getting active is a fantastic way to keep your heart strong, strengthen muscles, burn calories, enjoy the outdoors and most importantly have fun. It doesn't matter what activities you do whether you are a budding footballer, ballet dancer or an explorer it doesn't matter as long as you are active. Parents can set a good example by being active themselves or taking the whole family for a walk in the country where you will not only get active you can share the experience of the countryside together. Dancing is a fantastic way to exercise and have fun at the same time when it is raining you could hold a lounge disco and jump around to everyone's favourite tunes. The NHS website recommends that children should be encouraged to do 60 minutes of physical activity a day so it is an achievable goal.
Sleeping For Success
Sleeping is essential for everyone especially children, it is a time when the body grows and repairs itself and the brain processes everything that it has experienced during the day. By the time a child is two they will have spent more time asleep than awake. Children up to nine years old will need up to eleven hours sleep a night. Children who sleep well perform better at school and are less likely to be obese. Make bedtimes relaxing and calm, give your children a bath, read a story, talk about the day, cuddle and big up the benefits of sleeping. If your child can't fall asleep straight away encourage them to read a book and eventually they will fall into a relaxed slumber.
Eat Just The Right Amount
These days we are so accustomed to big portions that we are in the habit of eating far more than our bodies need. Food that we do not need stays on our body as fat and can lead to obesity, diabetes, low self esteem and other health problems. Young children automatically stop eating when they are full and this can often be mistaken as fussiness. Make sure that your children’s meals are child sized portions and are balanced and nutritious. Encourage children to eat fruit as snacks and avoid sweets and sugary drinks. Set a good example and make mealtimes a social event so that children can enjoy their meal with company.
Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set ...
.. and do something less boring instead? When we watch television we are just watching people doing things but are not actually doing anything ourselves. The NHS website recommends that children should not watch a television for more than two hours a day and that all screens should be removed from their bedroom at night. Encourage your children to participate in real world activities such as; craft activities, helping with the household chores, playing in the garden, writing, reading, drawing and playing with friends. Avoid being a couch potato when they are around and set a good example of being active and participating in activities.
We only have one life so we should learn to enjoy the pleasure that it brings. Show children how enjoyable it is to play in puddles, scrunch leaves, make dens, float sticks down rivers, make a catapult or bow and arrow from sticks and generally enjoy the world around them. When children know how to enjoy simple pleasures they will not always require expensive entertainment such as costly theme parks. Natural play like this develops imagination and gives your child plenty of ideas to write and talk about.
These are only a few ideas of how you can make resolutions that will enable the whole family to have a healthy and happy new year.