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A Busy Parent’s Guide To Health And Fitness

Nowadays, time pressure is a big problem. It’s linked to long work hours, a faster workplace pace, and the increasing number of families where both parents must combine childcare with work.  

The truth is, everyone needs time to stay healthy. Among experts surveyed on obesity in Australia, one out of five cited time pressure as the primary social trend behind rising obesity rates. Lack of time is the biggest obstacle to regularly exercising for sedentary and active people alike, ahead of income or knowledge.

So what can parents do to improve their health and fitness? Unfortunately, it is not possible to create more hours in the day, and work pressures are unlikely to ease up anytime soon. Fortunately, some simple life changes can provide a significant boost to not only your health and wellbeing but your family’s as well.

Engage In Family Outings For Exercise

Take advantage of family outings and holidays to engage in physical activity like hiking, cycling, or swimming. Breaking out the kids’ bikes or heading for a bushwalk together is a fun way to bond as a family, and everyone gets some much-needed exercise.

Children and adolescents can benefit from regular physical activity by improving cardiovascular fitness, building strong bones and muscles, controlling their weight, reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and reducing their risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease.

Keeping fit is an essential part of driving your child’s skill development, as well as bonding, understanding and self-regulation techniques. Families with a healthy lifestyle will also find that their children’s emotional development, attachment, and other skills improve.

Avoid The Temptation To Eat Takeaway Food

According to research examining the takeaway habits of everyday Australians, one in five Australian households purchase takeaway at least once a week.

Researchers found that households with children under the age of 18 are the biggest buyers of takeaway food, particularly those with children under the age of three, where one in ten buys takeaway food daily.

Along with that dependence on takeaway foods, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has conducted a survey that shows men and women of all ages fail to meet daily recommendations for fruit, vegetables, grains, lean meats (and vegan alternatives), and dairy (and vegan alternatives).

It should come as no surprise then that two-thirds of Australians are overweight or obese, including one in four children and three in four adult men.

Many free resources are available, including the Federal Government’s Get Up & Grow brochure with food ideas for busy parents, so investigate ways to change your family’s eating habits for a healthier lifestyle and improved wellbeing.

Many parents will lament the fact that they just don’t have time to spend in the kitchen. However, you can start cooking healthy meals again by involving your kids. Simple tasks such as washing veggies or chopping vegetables with a dull knife can be done by children even as young as four.

Children enjoy mixing, stirring, and sprinkling – and spending valuable time with their parents.

Become An Early Morning Person

It can be challenging to get up before your children if they are early birds. Yet, a morning self-care hour will be beneficial in so many ways to you. Use this hour however you please; it could mean anything from a quiet yoga session to an intense morning run or jog.

Even though getting out of bed early might prove difficult, you’ll sleep better at night if you use that time to exercise.

It has been proven those morning workouts are the most beneficial for your sleep habits, as opposed to working out in the evening. The earlier you can get your workout in, the better your sleep, especially if you have trouble sleeping.

As Benjamin Franklin famously penned, early to bed and early to rise makes a man (and a woman) healthy, wealthy, and wise.


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