Yours and your family’s health is the most valuable thing. While every day a new ‘hack’ appears to improve health it’s ticking the fundamentals that provides real results. Here are 11 top ways to keep your family healthy
Eat a filling, healthy breakfast
In an increasingly busy world, mealtimes are an apparently easy place to shave minutes. On-the-go breakfast bar or a quick bowl of sugary cereal might seem like time optimised, but it’s not doing much for yours or your family’s health.
Spend a few minutes crafting a breakfast that’ll not only keep you full until lunch, but that’ll also provide the nutrients needed to fire on all cylinders.
Great breakfasts include:
- Oats or porridge with nuts, seeds or fruit for topping
- Homemade or wholemeal bread toasted with peanut butter and a sliced banana
- Smoothie with fruit and perhaps a scoop of protein powder
- Omelette loaded with vegetables and mushrooms
We’ve collated some pro athlete breakfast recipes if you need further inspiration!
Shop our award-winning natural sports nutrition
Get active together
I appreciate that many of you reading this will have your own training or personal goals to strive towards, and that adding extra ‘active’ time can encroach on recovery or work, but being active as a family is a brilliant health kick.
Being active as a family - whether that’s with your children, parents, siblings or partner (remember, couples who sweat together stay together) – is motivating, provides camaraderie and accountability to ensure you all have to turn up and get out there.
Walk, cycle, swim, run, do some gardening – it doesn’t matter what, just do it!
Take healthy snacks to school
When you pack the kids off to school, make sure they’ve something healthy to snack on. While the convenience of a cereal or chocolate bar makes life easy, send them off instead with a piece of fruit or any of these 19 immune boosting foods (apart from many a sweet potato…they wouldn’t thank you to find one of them in their lunch box).
Although many of us are guilty of not prioritising it, we all know the benefits of good night’s sleep.
If you haven’t read Matt Walker’s excellent Why We Sleep, I’d urge you to get it. Amongst a smorgasbord of fascinating studies highlighting the wonderful thing that happen while we sleep, it also provides a useful insight into how our sleep requirements alter with age.
If you wonder why your teenager kids simply cannot function before midday or why your three year old has suddenly changed their sleep patterns, this book explains it all. Critically, it also provides suggestions on how to shift your sleep habits for maximum health.
Get the zzzs in. The brain does some miraculous work while you doze
Good oral hygiene habits
For as long as we can remember, we’ve been told we must brush our teeth. I thought this was purely to reduce the likelihood of painful dentist trips, but there’s actually a very close link between oral health and overall health. So, for your loved ones trying to be the best they can be, getting them to brush their teeth is a habit worth nailing.
Maintaining communication and open relationships with your family is so important for a number of reasons. One of the key findings from research conducted on people living in Blue Zones – regions where an unusually high number of people reach 100 years – was that their close-knit relationships provided a sense of community, reduced loneliness and anxiety and provided meaning.
Talking. So simple and beneficial to mental health yet harder than ever to execute (unless via Facechat or Snapbook of course)
Pay attention to gut health
While it’s taking its time, the idea that gut health is fundamental to overall health is slowly slipping into mainstream nutrition chat. Why? Because the gut is home to trillions of bacteria which work to keep your entire body functioning optimally. Dr David Perlmutter is spot on: “a healthy microbiome translates into a healthy human”.
The bacteria in your gut influences:
- How you store fat
- Your hormone levels
- Blood sugar levels
- Your mood
- Your immune system
…and it’s the last of these you should heed most. 80% of immune system cells reside in the gut, so the health of your gut directly impacts immunity. A compromised immune system equals greater susceptibility to illness.
The food you eat directly impacts the health of your gut biome, which in turn is causally linked to the health of your immune system
Drink plenty (of water!)
It’s a real obvious one, but most of us don’t drink enough water and suffer the subsequent lethargy. It’s hard to track how much you’ve consumed so I’d encourage you to simply fill two or three 750ml water bottles and ensure they’re depleted every day.
It’s also a great one for kids: send them packing off to school with a water bottle and set them the challenge of finishing it before they return home.
Cooking together is not just bonding but also quality time. You’re focused on a shared task with few distractions and you can also use the opportunity to learn about what you’re putting in your family’s boiesy.
You’ll find a load of easy and healthy recipes on the recipe section of our blog. Our top 5 to cook together with the family include:
- Chocolate brownie baked oats. Get the recipe >
- Protein peanut butter cups. Get the recipe >
- Super greens smoothie. Get the recipe >
- Roasted kale chips. Get the recipe >
- Smoky paprika roasted chickpeas. Get the recipe >
Our 100% natural Premium Protein powder is a great accompaniment for many recipes to bump up the protein content
In today’s world it seems not only is family chill time harder to come by but it also attracts a label of ‘laziness’. Being ‘busy’ has become synonymous with ‘driven’ and ‘determined’. Sit around with the family reading books or playing a game and you’re slacking.
How wrong is this?
We must be conscious about carving time out for those we love. And that time doesn’t need to be spent ‘achieving’ something. Just being in each other’s presence listening to music, cooking, going for a stroll or chatting over a coffee is pure gold and great for the soul.
Develop healthy habits
We interviewed psychologist world-record breaking cyclist Dr Ian Walker who shared some excellent tips on how to change seemingly engrained habits for the better.
Develop habits. Once they’re engrained, they’re hard to rid
Super-simply habits to develop could include:
- Washing hands regularly is simply but a hard habit to develop
- Teach your kids not to share straws, drinks, clothing, combs etc
- Using tissues more frequently to reduce the spread of germs
- Keep your bathroom and kitchen clean for they’re the rooms harbouring most bacteria
- Get the hoover out to reduce dust, mites, mould and other allergens
Keep your family healthy – conclusion
Much of this is common sense and I hope you don’t feel we’re teaching you to suck eggs. But sometimes it’s useful to have a reminder of the many things that can be done to improve yours and your family’s health.