During the fall and winter months, keeping your family healthy is difficult but more important than ever. Between starting school, the holidays, and the cold and flu season, there is a sharp increase in threats to your health. In your battle against new germs and sugary treats, preventative healthcare is the strongest soldier to have on your side.
Don’t underestimate the importance of using the resources available to you, such as good nutrition, exercise, quality sleep, and trusted medical professionals. They are all important to family wellness, both for yourself and your children.
Importance of Good Nutrition
Eating healthy and nutritious food is one of the biggest components of preventative health. Incorporate more foods that boost immunity in your family’s diet. Foods rich in vitamin C or zinc can prevent illnesses like the common cold from lasting as long or hitting as hard.
In addition to surviving flu season, eating healthy is vital to preventing a host of complications that can occur later in life. According to the University of Nevada, Reno, a child’s diet can affect heart health when they’re adults. If you prioritize nutritious foods in your children’s diets now, you maybe be able to help prevent health complications later in life.
Importance of Good Exercise
Good exercise goes hand in hand with good nutrition as part of preventative health. Even if you love to go for a daily run, sometimes the same routine gets too repetitive to maintain or winter weather keeps you indoors. If you find yourself continually skipping workouts, or if your kids aren’t playing outside as much as they do in warm weather, try to put physical activity in a new light to keep it fun and exciting.
Make exercise a family event! Get everyone to the park, and even if your children refuse to get off the swings, kick around a soccer ball with your partner instead of sitting on a bench. Spend a day this weekend going for a hike together, depending on the weather. Even finding a child-friendly yoga class is an excellent chance to be active as a family.
Importance of Good Sleep
While a good diet and enough exercise are obviously important to preventative health, you might have forgotten about the importance of sleep. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect your health. Aside from feeling crummy and exhausted, sleep deprivation has been linked to increased risk of coronary artery disease. Yikes!
Be sure to put sleep on the same level of importance as a healthy diet and plenty of exercises. It’s your body’s time to recharge and heal. Though sleeping enough seems to be the first thing to go when life gets crazy, don’t compromise on it.
If the kids are keeping you up, you can make them a bedtime snack to help them sleep. Help guide them into healthy sleeping habits early in life — then you can focus on getting some much-needed shut-eye.
Importance of a Good Doctor
Preventative health doesn’t mean that you never have to go back to the doctor’s office. As much as we wish they would, food, sleep, and exercise can’t solve everything (just most things). Having a trusted doctor or nurse who understands the importance of preventative care will make your office visits more bearable.
There are preventative care resources for you and your doctor to consult if you want to speak with them about developing a healthier lifestyle for you and your family. Discuss your specific situation with them — do you want to promote heart health in your family, or do you have concerns about mental wellness in your household? Formulate a plan with your healthcare professional to address your family’s needs. A reliable physician will understand your family’s health from a new perspective and will be a great resource for integrating preventative care in your life.
Head into spring with preventative healthcare on the brain for your whole family, not only your children. Your and your partner’s health is important too, so focus on ways you can take care of everyone in your family.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @ataylorian with any questions or suggestions.