Many parents, especially new moms and dads, gain weight, lose sleep, and fall short of the health goals they had before becoming parents.
Why is it that parents lose good health?
No two families are alike, so the reasons vary.
However, in my years of providing health consultations to families and individuals, I’ve learned a few of the most common reasons why health goals fly out the window.
As a husband and parent myself, I believe that the best thing a parent can do for his or her kids is to be healthy and set an example. Most other parents believe this as well.
The problem: between work, house responsibilities, financial stress, and the pressure of raising a family, health is no longer a priority. That means…
- No more exercise that improves your physical and mental wellbeing.
- No more meditation that relieves stress and clears your mind of clutter.
- No more cooking healthy meals that take time and effort.
All of the little habits that parents once had are replaced with play dates, fast food excursions, PTA meetings, saving for college, and other new facets of life.
The short answer for why parents lose sight of their optimal health—it’s the stress and new responsibilities.
However, I’ll repeat this valuable information: the best thing a parent can do for his or her kids is to be healthy and set an example.
I have a few ideas on how to beat the stress of parenthood and put the focus back on creating optimal health, having mental wellbeing, and implementing quality nutrition. Look below for habits that will turn the situation around.
Play with your kids and use that time as exercise.
Whether it’s dancing with your toddler or hula-hooping with your five-year-old, kids will give you the exercise you need. It doesn’t have to be running or slinging kettle bells; your exercise can come from simply playing with your kids.
As a bonus, the quality time will form memories—good memories that last a lifetime.
Cook healthy meals together.
Healthy cooking is a valuable skill that lasts into adulthood. Why not instill this value in your children right now? Let them take some responsibility in the kitchen while you supervise and help.
In the meantime, you can show them important facts about nutrition—e.g. the difference between complex and simple carbs.
Sit down as a family and talk.
Emotional and mental health is paramount, but often ignored. One way to ensure well-rounded children is to spend time with them. Ask about their day at school, listen to their concerns, and give life advice.
Get outdoors and stop the screen time.
The new generation is living life glued to a screen. Meanwhile, the parental generation is sitting in front of a computer all day at work. This is a strain on your physical and mental wellbeing, and there’s one sure way to beat it.
Get outside. Go for a nature hike, a short walk, or spend time on the playground with your family. This teaches kids to live in the moment and experience the world behind virtual life.
You won’t regret it, and neither will they.
If you’d like to discuss your family’s health, please stop by my office. Schedule your appointment here.