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Thursday, April 23, 2015

13 Ways to Protect the Health of Your Family

Everyone wants their family and loved ones to stay healthy and lead a happy and healthy life, but it's not always easy to do so in the modern world. It's hard to know what is and isn't healthy and it's often harder still to stick to those things which are best for yours and your family's health.

So here are 13 simple guidelines to follow to ensure your family is healthy and to make sure you spend more time having fun and less time at the doctor's.

Get out of the house

Sedentary lifestyles increase the risk of diabetes and other health problems and on average increase time spent in hospital. So ban your family from spending every evening on the sofa. Going for family walks in the country side will make you all happier and healthier, and increases family bonding.

Talk about your health

One of the best things you can do with your family is to make health an easy to talk about topic. Don't let health issues become awkward or taboo, create a culture where you share your concerns. This will ensure that any problems are out in the open and that no one ever suffers in silence.

See your doctor regularly

We're not advocating hypochondria here, but there are a lot of people who strangely pride themselves on never going to the doctor. You may think it reduces the load on health services or saves money, but in reality, regular GP visits help to ensure that any minor problems are caught before they become bigger problems. Getting a regular check up should be an integral part of your family's health routine.

Get insured

Health insurance may not be a big priority for you, and you may even think it's something you shouldn't worry about until you're older, but when you have a family health insurance policy it is a great investment because it gives you the peace of mind of knowing that no matter what happens you can get the best treatment available. Additionally, good quality private cover will ensure that you can get the treatment you need quickly.

No TV in bedrooms

Sleeping soundly is super important and not getting enough good sleep can cause all sorts of health issues, now and in the future. One simple way to ensure better sleep is to remove your TV from your bedroom. Make your bedroom a place for sleeping.

Eat more vegetables

This is perhaps the simplest tip on here, but it can't be stated too strongly that eating lots of fresh vegetables is perhaps the healthiest thing you can do. It's natural and there is no better way to ensure that your body gets everything it needs to be strong and healthy. Vitamin tablets and supplements can be helpful, but never under-estimate the power of broccoli.

Learn to relax

Feeling stressed? Long-term low-level stress is a modern problem which can cause many health problems. You may think it only a mental issue, but stress can manifest in physical ways and can even have a negative impact on the emotional health of your family. So if you feel stressed regularly, resolve now to make positive changes and reduce those stress levels.

Keep your air clean

Low quality air can cause and worsen respiratory disorders such as asthma and bronchitis and certain common chemicals may even be carcinogenic, so try to use non-toxic cleaning products, never smoke in the house and get some plants to keep your air clean.

Ban (unhealthy) snacking

Obesity in children and adults is on the rise and snacking on processed foods such as crisps and chocolate is a bit part of the problem. Ban such snacks and instead have fruit. If they don't want a banana, maybe they're not that hungry after all!

Cook everything you eat

One nutritionist famously said "the simplest way to get healthier is to eat whatever you like, just so long as you cook it yourself." Microwave meals, ready to eat rice and takeaways are all much less healthy than the same food would be if you made it from scratch yourself. You get to avoid potentially harmful chemicals and you become more aware of what's in your food.

Don't sit down all day

According to numerous studies, sitting down for many hours a day can be unhealthy and reduces life expectancy as well as increasing risk of back problems and heart problems. Equally, standing up all day has its own health risks, but if you have an office job, do your best to avoid long stretches of sitting in the same position.

Keep vaccinations up to date

Vaccinations have been incredibly effective over the past 100 years at reducing and even wiping out certain diseases and continue to do so today, but it's easy to forget which ones you need and when you might need a top up, so make sure you ask your family's doctor whether you need any boosters.

Take care of yourself

This goes without saying really, but it's not just for your benefit. If you want your children to grow up healthy you need to lead by example and live a healthy lifestyle yourself. Children of parents who smoke, eat unhealthily, are overweight or who fail to look after themselves are far more likely to develop those same bad habits.

The above entry is a guest blog entry.

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