Healthy nutrition and regular exercise aren’t always on the top of the list for busy parents. But they are important, not just for yourself, but for the well-being and longevity of the entire family.
You need lots of energy to parent, and while thinking about nutrition and exercising might not give you energy, once you have a plan and are eating better and exercising regularly you will without doubt have more energy.
If you are feeling tired and sluggish, this attitude will eventually rub off onto your children, so you owe it to them to look after yourself and influence your children’s lives positively.
Let’s start with healthy eating!
Meal prep might sound like a big ask if you’re a busy parent, but once you have some staples in place, it’s actually a huge timesaver.
The perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, your body needs a wide variety of foods from the following five food groups:
vegetables – 6 serves a day for men and 5 serves a day for women
fruit – 2 serves a day for men and women
grain foods – 6 serves a day for men and women
protein – 3 serves a day for men and 2½ serves a day for women
reduced-fat dairy – 2½ serves a day for men and women.
If you can’t always hit this level of nutrition, which you won’t always be able to, an online pharmacy can make it extremely simple to get regular deliveries of top up vitamins and minerals on subscription so that they won’t get forgotten about.
On top of this water is the next easy fix.Plenty of fluids prevent dehydration, which can make you feel even more tired and lethargic. Water is the healthiest, simplest and cheapest source of fluid – 8 cups a day for women and 10 cups for men are recommended.
Boring tip! Alcohol will dehydrate you, so if you’re consuming alcohol top up with extra water.
Quick food tips for long term healthy eating
If you are organised you can save time, energy and improve your diet, so let’s get started!
- Pizzas – an easy but unhealth staple, instead use pitta breads topped with veg to produce smaller and healthier (and just as tasty pizzas). Recipe here.
- Rely on the basics – beans, egg on wholegrain toast.
- Peckish? – fruit sticks and dips should be your go-to.
- Stir fries! – SO simple and healthy, eat more of these!
- Finally – Meal prep – save 2-3 hours on a weekend to prepare meals for the week, you’ll be amazed at the extra time you have during the week.
We get it, exercise is button of the list once you’ve final got the kids off to bed. But regular exercise WILL make you feel better, and give you MORE energy, so start doing it, no matter how small.
Here’s a few tips on getting started.
Ok playtime is strictly for the kids but why not create some games that involve you moving around also. Running, hopping, skipping! It doesn’t matter which, just get moving more.
Over the covid era, everyone has turned to tech to assist with workouts. A simple YouTube search can reveal any kind of workout you could dream of, from yoga to cycling. Find something that works for you.
More time in nature
We’re all guilty of having too much screen time, but spending time in nature is one of the best investments you can give you kids. It’s also the perfect low impact exercise.
Use your free time
Finally, we all need quiet down time, but you have more free time than you think. Instead of chilling out on the sofa, use just one or two of your downtimes per week to move a little bit more, even a simple 10 minute walk outside is better than nothing.
Over to you
We purposefully kept this guide very simple as there is plenty of advice already out there and it can be overwhelming.
The message is simple, move a little more, and work on a better diet over time.
If you gradually do these two things, your whole family will feel the benefit.