Few things in life are more important than being in good health. Staying in shape, both physically and mentally, can make it far easier to deal with the stresses and strains that daily life can throw at you. Most adults find that they can focus more effectively at work and deal with the conflicting demands placed on their time if they enjoy good health. Staying fit and well is also vitally important for children. Performing to a high level at school requires high levels of focus and concentration and sporting activities require a child to have a reasonable level of all-round fitness if they are to compete effectively. Put simply, at all stages of life, it is of paramount importance to enjoy good health so that expected activities and responsibilities can be undertaken effectively. However, with the fast pace of life, it can be easy to slip into bad habits that can reduce your general health and well-being. Many adults find that they simply want to eat a ready meal and curl up on the couch to relax and unwind after a hard day at work. Whilst this may be acceptable on an occasional basis, it may not promote the highest levels of health and well-being if it becomes routine. In this brief guide, some key strategies will be discussed that allow both you and your family members to enjoy the highest levels of health and well-being. These tips will ensure that you can face each day with the knowledge that you can cope with the demands that will be placed upon you.
The importance of routine health checkups
Firstly, it is incredibly important that all family members receive routine health checkups throughout their lives. Children aged between the years of two and five should visit their family doctor once a year to check their growth and development whilst ensuring that there are no undetected health problems. After this period, and until the age of 18, a health screening and basic checkup should be undertaken every two years. Once early adulthood has been reached, and from this period until your thirties, it can be sufficient to visit your GP every two to three years, if you are in good health. As you become an older adult, it becomes more important to revert to a yearly health checkup to ensure that later-life illnesses can be identified. Ensure that all family members receive a series of health screenings and routine checkups throughout their lives, following the basic recommended timescales. Taking this preventative action can ensure that any health problems can be diagnosed early, often before they have a chance to impact the person’s quality of life. Ideally, you will want to keep the same family GP so that they gain comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of your and your family’s health.
Do not forget about vision health
Whilst the importance of regular health screenings may be self-evident, many families overlook the importance of regular checkups by an optometrist for themselves and their children. Children especially need to have their vision tested on a six-monthly or annual basis. This can be vital to check for common vision problems, such as color blindness, or to prescribe corrective lenses for short- or long-sightedness. Optometrists will be able to undertake a variety of vision tests on children to ensure that no corrective actions are required and to check for any issues. In addition, elderly family members should receive routine eye health checkups every year. A technique such as retinal screening is commonly used to gain detailed pictures of the back of the eye. The procedure only takes a few minutes with a specialized camera and is comfortable and non-invasive. It can help to detect a range of problems, such as signs of diabetes, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, which require effective treatment. Search online for a family Optometrist near me to find a list of professional sight specialists who will be able to monitor your family’s vision health. Such healthcare specialists will be able to advise any family members on the glasses or contact lenses that they may need to correct their vision. In addition, the timely identification of any health problems that can show up through eye tests will ensure that remedial actions can be taken to manage or fix the issues. Your local optometrist will be able to schedule routine checkups for you and your children to ensure that lifelong vision health can be achieved.
Enjoy home-cooked meals
As previously mentioned, many adults find that they opt for convenience foods and ready meals after a hard day at work, simply to save time. Ideally, this practice should be avoided as many ready meals contain higher levels of saturated fats, lower nutritional content, and increased amounts of salt. Aim to cook meals from fresh using a range of healthy ingredients to ensure that all family members enjoy a balanced and nutritious diet that supports their immune system and general health. Cooking from fresh can be a fun activity that all family members can take part in. Younger children can be supervised whilst undertaking basic food preparation tasks and older family members can do more complex tasks. Many healthy and nutritious meals can be created in less than thirty minutes, so even families with exceptionally busy lifestyles can enjoy the benefits of home-cooked meals. Make home cooking a part of your evening routine and you may be surprised how easy it can be to make a range of tasty and healthy meals that will delight the tastebuds of all your family.
Limit screen time for children
In recent years, the pace of technological advancement has been rapid and tech devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops are common in most homes. Children are using such tech devices daily, and whilst this can help them develop key IT skills, their usage of such devices should be limited. Playing on smartphones or other tech devices during the evening can make it harder for them to settle down and enjoy full and natural sleep, which is vital for their growth and development. There are currently no universally accepted guidelines relating to the amount of time children should spend looking at screens, although the consensus is that excessive amounts of screen time can be detrimental to developing social skills and may reduce concentration levels. Ideally, you will want to ensure that younger children have a maximum of 1-2 hours of screen time per day and they view suitable educational content. During the evening, set rules for when tech devices should be switched off so that children can unwind and sleep effectively.
Weekend exercise as a family
Finally, even the busiest of families should be able to find some free time together on a weekend to dedicate to exercise. Promoting family fitness can help to instill the benefits of regular exercise that can continue into adulthood. There is a wide range of family fitness activities that can be enjoyed by all ages. For example, taking the family on a walk out into the countryside for a gentle walk and some fresh air can be an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon at the weekend. The slowest or youngest family member can determine the pace of the walk so that everyone benefits from the intensity of the exercise. Consider taking the children to your local swimming pool to help them become proficient swimmers and enjoy a low-impact form of exercise that parents can benefit from too. Even a quick game of soccer in the back garden can be the ideal opportunity to enjoy family fun and boost cardiovascular health. Choose forms of exercise that are enjoyed by all the family and make this a regular weekend event.