As your child grows, he or she is developing the habits that will last a lifetime. What you do now to promote healthy nutrition and physical activity will affect your child’s health forever. It’s important for you to examine your lifestyle right now and find ways that you can help your heart to stay healthy.
It’s crucial that you lead by example. Children learn much more by what they see you do than by what you tell them. So it doesn’t do any good for you to tell your child about the dangers of smoking while you have a cigarette hanging out of your mouth.
Start by looking at what kind of example you’re setting for your child. Do you need to stop smoking? Do you need to eat more fruits and vegetables? Look around your home to see if you’re providing a positive, healthy environment that will set your child up for a healthy heart.
For example, your child should never be exposed to second-hand smoke. You should also provide a large variety of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean protein for your child’s diet. In addition, physical activity should be a part of every day life.
Encourage your child to turn off the television or video games and play outside. Riding a bike, skateboarding, and simply throwing a ball with friends is a great way to get physical activity. You don’t have to tell your child to “exercise”. If you encourage him to play, he’ll automatically get what he needs.
You can also help your child by having family time that’s devoted to physical activity and good nutrition. You don’t have to make a lesson out of it; you simply have to do it. For example, your family may want to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard.
You’ll use physical activity to tend the garden and you’ll have fresh produce that’s heart healthy. You may also want to take a stroll around the neighborhood as a family. As often as you can, walk to run your errands instead of driving.
Childhood is the perfect time to set up healthy habits for your child. If your child enjoys eating a variety of foods and gets a lot of physical activity, she’ll be more likely to continue those practices as an adult.
When you’re at work, you tend to be focused on the task at hand. That can put your health on the back burner. But if you’re serious about keeping your heart healthy, you can use work time to an advantage. There are plenty of simple things you can do to make work a healthy place.
Whenever possible, you should take the stairs instead of the elevator. This allows your body to get some extra physical activity built in. Now, if you work on the 25th floor, you may not want to walk up all those stairs.
Instead, you can try taking the elevator to the 23rd floor and walking up two floors. Once that becomes easier, you can add a floor at a time. Eventually you may find that you can challenge yourself to walking the whole thing – you just can’t be in a hurry.
Many workplaces offer gym facilities for employees. You can use your lunch break or come to work early to exercise. You can also hit the gym at the end of the day before you go home. If you’re job doesn’t offer this amenity, but you’d still like to work out at a gym find one that’s between your home and work so that it’s convenient to stop on your way home.
Brown bagging it can also save your heart and your money. Bringing your lunch every day is likely to be healthier than eating out. It’s also far less expensive than eating out. You may even want to keep some standard snacks in your desk or the work refrigerator so you don’t have to pack something every day. Packing your lunch the night before will help you to get out the door quickly in the morning.
Enlisting your coworkers in an exercise group can also be a great way to add physical activity to your day. Get together a group of people who want to walk on their lunch break or after work. You can help motivate one another on tough days.
Taking public transportation, where possible, is another great way to stay heart healthy. You’ll get more activity walking to and from the bus or train stop than you would by taking your car. You’ll also be doing something good for the environment.
Finally, when you’re at work stay away from tobacco use. If you don’t smoke, you want to stay away from second-hand smoke. And if you’re trying to quit smoking, you may find that smoking is difficult to stop when you’re around coworkers who smoke. You might want to find somewhere else to go during breaks where you won’t be tempted to try it.