What Modern Families need to know about their health!

What Modern Families need to know about their health!

Being a parent is tough!
Being a kid is tough!
Trying to build a strong, supportive and stress free family is tough! Love is easy! The rest is not!

Between work, household duties, footy/cricket/ballet practice and then kinder and school drop offs and pick ups, sometimes it’s hard to remember where you are actually meant to be and what you are meant to be doing! Things like ‘looking after ourselves’ takes a back seat, as we, as parents, put everyone else’s needs in front of our own. So it’s no wonder that so many of us end up getting sick! And when a parent is sick, the kids get sick and everyone’s grumpy and “UURRGGHH…make it stop!!!”

VISIT YOUR GP

Whilst there are some things that are out of our control, there are other things that you CAN control to try to help you, and your family become stronger, healthier and happier! I personally believe that we use the Doctors ‘system’ wrong in Australia. We should be working with our GP’s when we are healthy- so that we stay that way, rather than only visiting them when we are sick!

I’m sure that you are all up to date with your children’s immunisations! What about YOU??

When was the last time you went to the Doctors for “those” checks? I bet you’ve been putting them off. You know the checks I’m talking about, ladies and gentlemen-it’s a few moments of feeling uncomfortable, but those few moments can save your life.

Also, something I am passionate about at the moment is ensuring that everyone I know is getting their skin checked! Skin Cancers are running rampant through our country at the moment-PLEASE GET YOUR SKIN CHECKED! I go to my local GP twice a year who runs a skin clinic once and its bulk billed, and apparently most are, and just a few months ago he found a spot on my hand which had to be removed. It took 20 minutes and a couple of stiches, but really, what’s that compared to the possibility of chemo? A skin check itself only takes about 5-10 minutes, book it in today-there’s no excuse!

Another issue running rampant in Australia at the moment is mental health and sadly our suicide rate seems to be climbing. Are you taking control of your mental health? Did you know that it’s OK not to be OK! Many of us believe that there is a certain stigma that comes with having a mental health issues, however when you open up and take control, you realise that so many people you know are battling similar issues. Again, this can be done in a preventative manner-chat with the people you love, or ask your GP for a referral to a counsellor or psychologist! Don’t wait until things are out of control! And don’t forget that there are a lot of people that love you!

HEALTHY EATING

WOW, this is becoming so confusing for so many people. Every week there seems to be a new celebrity chef or “system” promising you to look and feel amazing. But believe me, it really doesn’t have to be so confusing!

My Nana once said to me, whilst I was in the midst of losing a heap of weight (I’ve lost 58kgs over the past few years) through using meal replacement shakes, “Katherine, you might lose weight, but I bet that stuff will make you sick. Why can’t you just eat normal food like I did when I was younger?”

My Nan just celebrated her 96th Birthday and is the most amazing woman. Her diet consists of, well, you guessed it, normal food!

Basically, this is my advice! Eat what you like! What’s the point of making an aubergine curry if you hate aubergine? And my second piece of advice, listen to your body. If you are hungry, that is a signal that is sent to you via your stomach. However if your craving something, that means that your brain is communicating with your body that you are lacking in an area of your nutrition.

For example, for many of us we will often crave chocolate. This is in fact our bodies way of saying we have a magnesium deficiency. We can overcome this deficiency by including in our diets whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, greens, fruit or take a magnesium supplement! If we are craving fizzy drinks (like cola/lemonade) this is often due to a lack of calcium and can be overcome with Sesame seeds/ tahini, broccoli, kale, legumes, mustard and turnip greens.

For more information about cravings and some alternatives, please follow this link

http://support.cleanprogram.com/article/976-cravings-chart—the-nutrients-your-body-really-wants

The best thing I ever did was make the decision to try one new food a month in our house. This was a way of getting not only my children to try new foods, but also a way for me to explore different ways to cook a new vegetable or piece of meat/seafood. We have a fairly ‘basic’ no frills approach diet in our household, with fruit, vegetables, two protein sources during the day and on most days-some sort of a treat, just a little one, but something that feeds your soul (my current favourite treat are oven baked chickpeas-WOW!!)

As my Nana says, “It’s not rocket science.”

HEALTHY MOVING

We are fast becoming a nation that is lazy and unhealthy, and as a qualified Personal Trainer, this is not only affecting our physical appearance, but also our physical and mental health and guess who this effects? Not just us but our children as well.

Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. One look at me, and many would be surprised that I am a PT and that I do some form of exercise daily. I am not a size 8, and I don’t want to be! I want to live in a body that is strong, healthy and able to get me through life!

Research suggests that adult bodies need between two and five hours of exercise per week, including muscle conditioning and strengthening exercises-which believe it or not is actually much more important for our bodies than regular cardiovascular exercise! Including resistance exercises into your exercise routine not only burns fat, improves muscle tone and strength, but also help to increase bone density (so important as we get older), lowers our resting heart rates and blood pressure. There is also new research showing that regularly including resistance training into your workout program can improve the way our bodies process sugar, thus reducing the risk of diabetes!

And when we talk about muscle conditioning, it doesn’t necessarily mean go and lift weights like Arnie (although if you have access to free weights, don’t be nervous to do just this)! While cooking dinner, squeeze in a few squats, do a few push-ups while the bath is running or when you’re at the local park with the kids, do some step ups on a bench or seat! Or, do what I do, get up at 5am and exercise before the kids can interrupt your session! I promise you, after a couple of weeks, you’ll wonder why you havn’t been doing it for years!

While we still have this nice weather, make a ‘family exercise time’ a priority. Either before or after dinner, go for a bike ride, scooter ride or walk around the block together. Play kick to kick out the back, throw the cricket/baseball to one another or have a game of basketball! Great not only for physical activity but also for family bonding.

Basically, like with eating well, keep it simple-JUST MOVE!

You want the best for your children, it starts with making sure that you are looking after yourself. So, put some time into making sure that you are healthy in mind and body and then guess what, your kids will follow suit and be healthy and happy too!

“It’s not rocket science.”

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