A mom faces distinctive challenges when it comes to health. Often, the decisions she makes for herself, she ends up making for the whole family. If mom cuts back on salt intake, for example, then so does everyone who eats the foods she cooks. With a new year already in full swing, consider some health conscious choices you can make to keep the whole family safe and happy in 2014.
It’s a New Attitude
Mental health often is overlooked in the â€œI want to get healthyâ€ equation. A mom who focuses on her mental well-being will spread that positive mojo to everyone in the house. Start a breakfast game where everyone comes up with one positive thought before leaving the table â€” maybe a goal for the day or just a nice sentiment to start each individual on the right path.
Healthline recommends the Positive Thinking app to inspire the right attitude. This tool provides inspirational thoughts to share with those you love. Elbert Hubbard said, â€œPositive anything is better than negative nothing.â€
And How About that Salt
A single teaspoon of table salt contains 2,325 milligrams of sodium, according to the Mayo Clinic. Sodium is a necessary part of your diet, but always in moderation. Too much increases blood volume and puts pressure on your arteries. Think of stretching out your favorite sweater. It will rebound for a while, but eventually lose its shape permanently. When that happens, you end up with chronic diseases such as congestive heart failure.
On average, a person can eat around 2,300 mg of sodium a day, but less is better. Teach your family the importance of reading labels on packaged products. The University of North Carolina Medical School offers a chart that shows sodium levels found in common foods. Print it out and post it for everyone to see.
Eating habits are something kids learn from their parents. A mom who resolves to cut back on sodium not only improves her health, but also provides kids with an education they will take with them into adulthood.
It is a little clichÃ©, but increasing physical activity is always a good choice for a new goal, especially if you are going to do it family style. Maybe Santa brought everyone new bikes last year or introduced some family fun with Wii fitness. The kids will love either of these options whenever they wail, “Mom, we’re bored!” Get the spouse training with you for a 5K run using Active.com’s Couch-to-5K app ($1.99 for iOS and Android).
Take a closer look at your personal pains and vow to spend more time doing strength-training exercises to improve your flexibility and focus on problem areas. For example, Laser Spine Institute offers exercise recommendations for those who suffer from chronic back pain.
The Ultimate Soda Challenge
There is a lot of debate about the health consequences of drinking soda, but most people agree there are better ways to quench your thirst. For 2014, take the ultimate soda challenge and eliminate the fizz from your life. Start by refusing to buy soda at the grocery store. If your family wants a carbonated drink, they will have to bypass you to get it.
Shift the focus to water instead. Create a chart and put it on the refrigerator that shows how much water you drink each day. It should be at least eight glasses per day. It will serve as a reminder for the rest of the crew that soda is out and water is in this new year. Have the kids help you infuse water with yummy flavors like fresh lemons or cucumbers â€” whatever healthy additions their tastebuds crave!
*Written by Katie Dylan, a mother of three who is a freelance lifestyle and finances writer.