How To Stay Fit for Your Child
If you are a mom, you already know the many physical changes that parenthood brings. This includes those listed in our article ‘How Do Pregnancy and Birth Change Your Body’; weight gain, fluctuations in the size of body parts, weakened blood vessels and muscles. But it is not only moms who go through physical changes. Studies have shown weight gain is also significant in men after they become fathers, and a decline in health activities is reported in moms and dads alike.
Taking care of yourself by staying fit and healthy can help you avoid future medical problems. Aside from this, another reason to keep fit is the fact that your health also affects your children. Studies have shown associations between parent health and child health. An example is seen in a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, where children of obese parents tend to become overweight earlier and faster compared to children of normal-weight parents.
So, what can parents like you do to stay fit not only for your well-being but also for your kids? Here are some tips:
A nutritious diet is a major component of healthy living, but most parents tend to have less time and focus for meal preparation and conscious eating. Having a personalized meal plan all ready for you can help you stay on track and give you more time to focus on parenthood. WeightWatchers found that tailored weight loss plans can help by considering goals, specific nutrient needs, and preferences in making healthy meal choices. This way, you can ensure you get the balanced diet you need and like, so it is easier for you to stick with it as part of a sustainable fitness plan.
Exhaustion and schedule constraints can make it difficult to exercise, but exercise is essential for staying fit. If it is difficult to devote much time to a workout, try to be flexible. You can either wake up early or go to bed later or perhaps insert quick workouts throughout the day. Physical activities that include the kids, such as playing sports, are great because they keep the whole family active and lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for kids. One of the reasons for ‘The Importance of Being Active With Your Little One’ is showing your child that staying healthy and fit is an important part of your life.
Check Your Mental Health
Mental health affects lifestyle choices. There are associations between mental health issues and difficulty with health behaviors. Another motivation to focus on your mental health is also its effect on your ability to be a good parent and its effect on your child’s mental health as well. A recent study done by Oregon Health and Science University showed that parents’ physical and mental health affected child behavioral symptoms. Find ways to take needed breaks. Take up relaxing hobbies and practices such as meditation. If you feel you are struggling, do not hesitate to reach out for help and support.
Cut Out Vices
Smoking and alcohol use is linked to many health problems. Additionally, doing these in front of children can model unhealthy habits to them. Limit your alcohol intake. Take steps to quit smoking, such as gradually cutting down or looking towards alternatives. Your doctor can guide you towards more resources for quitting smoking and drinking. There are also other resources online that can help you, like forums and applications such as the quitSTART app.
Consult your doctor
It is always important before starting any diet or lifestyle change to get yourself checked by your health professionals. Examination and testing may be done to rule out other medical problems which can cause difficulty with staying fit. Knowing your general health can also guide what you can do or need to focus on as you work towards keeping fit.
There are many things that parents strive to do to make things better for their kids. Don’t forget to include the tips above to stay fit and healthy so you can enjoy your parenthood journey and ensure that you are setting a good lifestyle example for your kids.