OCTOBER IS FAMILY HEALTH MONTH
Good health begins at home. Here are some FUNdamentals.
That's right FUN:
• Eat Healthy
Choose Your Drinks with Care. Aim for Five a Day- The delicious crunch of fruits and veggies can be part of every meal and snack your family enjoys throughout the day and is important for your whole family's health. Everybody needs the vitamins, fiber and minerals that these colorful foods provide in order to grow and stay strong, energetic and free from illness. Stay healthy by reaching for five servings every day. Small achievements lead to big gains.
1. This week, we will each drink a glass of water with dinner.
2. This week, we will each commit to eating a piece of fruit with our lunch.
3. This (day), we will try two new vegetables with dinner.
4. This week, we will commit to eating dinner together at least times.
5. This week we will switch from using whole to 2%, almond or coconut milk on our cereal.
• Play Every Day
If you put more play into your family's day, you will soon find yourself getting the activity that will have your family feeling energized and strong. Families at Play an Hour a Day - playful movement is one of the keys to a healthy family home. It doesn't matter what you choose to do.
1. This week, we will take a 30-minute family bike ride.
2. This week, we will take a family walk together around the block. Next week walk longer or more often.
3. This week, we will attend family swim at the health club near us.
4. This week, we will walk the dog instead of letting her out into the yard.
5. This week, I will play ball with the kids for 15 minutes when I get home.
• Get Together
Children need adult time and attention like they need healthy food and playful activity. When it is missing, kids will find other ways to ask for adult time and attention often resulting in negative behavior and stress on the relationship. Make family time a priority - one of the greatest gifts you can give to your family is the time that you all spend together.
1. Try family board game night on (day).
2. Invite your child out on a special date night. Try a father/daughter night event or go fishing.
3. Learn three new things about your kids. Ask them to find out three things about you.
4. Commit to eating dinner together at least times.
5. Take a 30-minute family bike ride.
• Go Outside
Just being out in nature does your body, mind and soul some good. It helps restore your focus. It helps you relax. It makes you happy. While there are many theories as to why being in nature makes us healthier, one leading hypothesis is that being outside increases our Vitamin D intake. We just keep learning more and more about how important vitamin D is for health, including preventing cancer, hormonal problems, obesity, and inflammation, and having a strong immune system. Because sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, it only seems logical that spending more time in outside would increase your vitamin D intake. Being in a natural setting can also help increase your quality of sleep. Natural sunlight helps set the body's internal clock that tells us when to eat and sleep, and normalizes hormonal functions that occur at specific times of the day. Enjoying the outdoors also gives us a break from technology and the on-the-run lifestyle to which we have become so accustomed to. When we're outside, we have a clearer, more focused mindset to be with friends, or spend some quiet time alone or even play with a pet. So how much green time do you need? Not much, recent research says. According to the American Chemical Society's journal Environmental Science & Technology, as little as five minutes exercising in a park, working in a backyard garden, hiking on a nature trail, or even sitting in a plant-filled setting will benefit your mental health.
• Sleep Well
One of the best ways to raise healthy kids is to make sure they get enough sleep. A healthy body depends on it. Based on their ages, children need different amounts of sleep. Doctors recommend between 10 and 12 hours per day for kids between the ages of 5 and 12. Doctors recommend 8 to 10 hours per night for teens. When children do not get enough sleep it can cause moodiness and impact their ability to learn in school. Restful sleep also has important short- and long-term health benefits. This includes a role in maintaining a healthy immune system, metabolism, mood, memory, learning, and other vital functions. Researchers are also beginning to point towards the benefits of sleep for the prevention of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Every family can be a healthy family. Start a healthy family home and feel stronger, healthier, and more connected.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer is the second most common kind of cancer in women. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. The good news is that many women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early.
· Teach your teenage daughter how to do a self-breast exam and why it is important, especially if your family has a history of breast cancer.
· If you are in your 20s or 30s and you have a family history of breast cancer, don't wait until you are older to discuss screening with your doctor.
· If you are a woman age 40 to 49, talk with your doctor about when to start getting mammograms and how often to get them.
· If you are a woman age 50 to 74, be sure to get a mammogram every 2 years. You may also choose to get them more often.
Talk to a doctor about your risk for breast cancer, especially if a close family member of yours had breast or ovarian cancer. Your doctor can help you decide when and how often to get mammograms.