How improving your health can help your children
Improving your health can not only ensure that you live longer, but it also sets an example for your children to lead a healthy life too.
Wherever you look these days, there are resources on how you can improve your overall health, either through fitness, diet or a positive environmental change. As parents, we are even more obligated to stay healthy for the sake of longevity and, of course, passing much of our life-long wisdom to our children as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean that once we have kids we should press the stop button on our social life or adult enjoyment. But, there are environmental stressors that we should consider giving up or, at the very least, minimising as much as practicably possible in order to improve our health and help our children have a healthier outlook on life too. Some of these stressors are not preventable, but some of our life choices are, especially as we get older. Here are some tips on how to improve your health, which can, in turn, help your children too.
Stress is an external factor that should be dealt with all on its own. It encompasses us through various forms throughout our lives, especially during parenthood, when we are faced with extreme situations affecting our children on a daily basis. Stress can manifest itself in a number of ways, whether it be a work-related matter or a pressing issue at home. A 2010 study by the American Psychological Association (APA) surveyed over 2,000 adults and children, with some very interesting results. The study showed that almost 70% of parents believed that their own stress barely affected their children – but when speaking to children, this was not the case. 90% of the children who were surveyed stated that they could tell when their parents were stressed; either because they could see them complaining and arguing, or because their parents failed to spend time with them. Many of these children said that they felt frustrated, worried and sad as a result, and almost a third of the children themselves complained of stomach aches or headaches that were caused by the stress.
These results seem to suggest that anxiety and stress can be contagious – meaning that when we’re suffering mentally, we may be affecting the mental health of our children too. So, it is even more important to divide and conquer all the stressors you have going on in your life and keep them as far away from your children as possible. For example, work-related stress can be left at work and discussed with your partner when your child is not around to hear it. Any stress that you may have at home or with your partner can be discussed with them alone and not in front of the children. Of course, it is better to have an honest outlook of life with your children, so if the stress involves them in some way, try and find some common ground where you are not shouting at or ordering your child. Still struggling to contain that stress? Here is a 10-step plan on how to stop yelling, at least some of the time.
Diet and lifestyle
Physical health is important too. As parents, our attitudes towards our physical health will help to shape the attitudes of our children. If we’re not concerned about what we choose to eat, trying to stay in shape or ensuring that we get regular health check-ups, we run the risk of our children mirroring our behaviour.
Similarly, if we drink too much around our children, they may grow up with an unhealthy view of and relationship with alcohol. HARTMANN Direct has brought out a guide which talks about the impact alcohol has on your bladder and bowels. Alcohol can wreak havoc on your heart, your mind and your liver. But, what most people don’t realise is that excessive drinking can also lead to incontinence too. Alcohol is a powerful diuretic, which means that even a few drinks can increase your urine production and make you feel like you need to go to the loo more often than normal. This excessive urination can lead to dehydration and much more concentrated urine, which can lead to urinary tract and kidney infections. This is because the concentrated urine sits in the bladder and causes irritation and inflammation to the bladder’s lining. And, if you’re not careful, this can quickly spread to your kidneys. The burning and painful feeling you get during a UTI is down to the urethra and bladder spasming, which can also lead to headaches, back pain, fever and general malaise. Cystitis is also one of the symptoms of a bladder infection and you may feel a sharp pain and see blood in your urine. These issues can damage your quality of life and prevent you from carrying on with your daily tasks, which may impact your children, especially if the discomfort causes you to have erratic behaviour too. Make sure to watch your alcohol intake, as alcohol can also impair your brain, and this can become very dangerous when looking after your children. This is because your reflexes and brain functions are not as on point as when you are sober. Alcohol can also cause bowel problems like irritation and inflammation of the gut, which can also cause diarrhoea. Be careful to massively limit or eliminate alcohol when you experience diarrhoea as you are causing damage to your stomach lining and your body is losing nutrients. Make sure to have a nice full meal before drinking so that the food can act as a buffer. Food and water can slow down the effects of alcohol and prevent bladder and bowel problems from occurring.
The same health implications can be said for smoking. Second-hand smoke can have a huge impact on a child’s health, which is why many parents now choose to “smoke” an electronic cigarette (you can buy some gourmet-style E-liquid at Redvape.com) in order to kick the habit and ensure that they are working towards creating a healthy home for themselves and their children alike.
Ensure that you are also providing yourself with a nutritious balanced diet so that you are able to keep up with your children on a daily basis. Consider food supplements to help you with any deficiencies that you may be suffering with, as we parents know that it is difficult to offer ourselves the same amount of time as we afford our children. Lumity Life offers a great all natural, clean beauty and healthy ageing supplement, which I have used myself and personally love.
Have a positive outlook on life – and spend time with your children
We have all made a promise to ourselves that we’d not take that extra phone call, check our emails when the kids are awake, or work on our laptops/PCs. I have been guilty of taking on a deadline and using my time with the kids to finish it so that I could go to bed at an earlier time that evening. However, what almost always happens is that I get stressed because of the noise, the kids get bored and we all end up shouting at each other, which results in me not finishing my deadline anyway. I have since put a stop to touching any form of gadget when my kids are around and life is so much better for all of us. As the kids are at school now, they only have a few hours before bedtime to spend some real time with their mummy, and I also have found that they go to bed so much easier as well. Last night, we turned the lights off at 6.30pm and both boys told me a story before they drifted off into a relaxed sleep. We all finished that day happy and stress-free and this outlook leaked onto this morning when the boys were getting ready for school. Everyone was happy and relaxed and we left the house on time.
I cannot stress to you enough how important it is that our children have their time with their parents. Life is going by so fast and before you blink you’ll miss their childhood and then you’ll spend a lifetime regretting all that time lost. Stress is interlinked with diet and lifestyle choices, so try and cut down on those choices that may result in your health being less than 100%. For example, smoking, drinking and eating a high cholesterol diet are the leading causes of health-related problems, which can lead to stress. These lifestyle choices will be mirrored by our children who look up to us. So, it is up to us to improve our health and help our children grow to be the best adults they can be.
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