You might be running around after hyperactive toddlers, or you might have caring commitments for a family member. Whatever your challenges, it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you have other responsibilities. It’s not always easy, but there are some healthy tips for families that’ll help you keep your blood pressure in check. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites.
1. Make use of the 10-minute-tidy
A tidy house can do wonders for your mental health – and in turn, your blood pressure. Some people find cleaning therapeutic, but certainly not everyone. This tip is fantastic to help you keep on top of the little things. Every day, get the family together and set a timer for 10 minutes. Between a family of four, that’s 40 minutes of total cleaning. You might be surprised just how much cleaner things can be in 10 minutes.
There’s even a 10 minute cleaning song you can play to keep the children distracted.
2. Let the children help with cooking
Young children are quite often excited to do the household chores that we’re putting off. Encouraging them to get involved with cooking healthy meals takes some of the stress off you. Even better, they’re more likely to eat their five-a-day when they’ve had a part in cooking dinner.
3. Don’t neglect your sleep
Sleep deprivation does a number on your body. It affects everything from your concentration, to your balance, to your immune system. We should all be aiming for eight hours a night, as getting enough sleep makes a huge difference to our energy levels and mood during the day. It’s no secret that children keep you up at night, but if you’re a carer for someone with dementia, you might be struggling with lack of sleep too. Dementia confuses our internal body clocks and can cause insomnia. Occasionally, making sure you get enough sleep might mean sacrificing some much-needed TV time, or foregoing that 4th glass of wine; alcohol and screens can disturb our natural sleep patterns.
4. Exercise as a family
Group exercise is a great way to keep everyone accountable, while making sure you get time to stay active. It doesn’t need to be anything hardcore. A long walk, a bike ride in the park, or a 30 minute YouTube workout in the living room is enough to make a difference. Even just ensuring that playtime is in the garden rather than in front of a screen can have a big impact. As long as you know you’re working your muscles and raising your heart rate, it all adds up.
What are your top tips for a healthy lifestyle when family commitments feel never-ending? Tell our patient community in the comments below.