Health and wellness have always been important. But, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve moved to the forefront of almost everyone’s minds. Helping your family understand health and wellness can help them to live more fruitful lives. It might seem like healthy habits come naturally, but that isn’t always the case. So, don’t be afraid to help them understand and do a little teaching along the way.
One survey found that 93% of consumers want to eat healthy at least some of the time. Another England-wide survey found that 70% of UK adults want to get healthy this year. But, children and adults alike sometimes lack the resources or basic knowledge of how to lead healthy lives without jumping on board some crazy fitness trend or diet plan.
Health and wellness are about more than dieting and exercise – those are only parts of the solution. So, how can you make sure your family understands the full scope of what it means to be healthy?
Understanding the Dimensions of Health and Wellness
When you want to prioritize your family’s health and wellness, talking to them about it can be a bit overwhelming for everyone. If you’re not sure where to get started, focus on the eight dimensions of health and wellness. They are:
- Physical – Finding ways to stay active together, setting routines, and getting your kids involved with preparing healthy meals.
- Emotional – Modeling healthy coping strategies for your kids and communicating openly with each other.
- Social – Having family meals together, enrolling your young children in preschool for socialization, and developing family rituals.
- Intellectual – Encouraging your child to develop their interests and passions.
- Environmental – Making some sustainable changes within your own home.
- Spiritual – Creating a mission statement as a family.
- Vocational – Exposing your kids to different career paths based on their interests.
- Financial – Teaching your children about the value of money and helping them set up a bank account.
Each example listed isn’t exhaustive when it comes to these eight dimensions. Think about what might work best for your family in each category and how you can make it easy for everyone to incorporate them into your lives.
The goal of these dimensions is to educate, but it’s also to help everyone form healthy habits throughout their lives. When the dimensions are ingrained into your family’s mind, they’re more likely to make healthier choices. Even their hobbies might change as they focus on bettering their physical and mental health.
Encouraging Lifelong Habits
Once your family understands the dimensions of health and wellness, you can dig deeper into areas that seem to be the most meaningful to each individual. For example, if your kids have a hard time getting enough physical activity, that should be an area of focus. As of 2019, 27% of boys and 20% of girls between the ages of 11-15 were considered overweight. Many factors can contribute to obesity, but a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits are the most common causes.
Poor diet and exercise habits can do so much more than cause weight gain. The health risks of an inactive lifestyle include:
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Certain cancers
A poor diet can even lead to eye diseases. Foods rich in Vitamin C and E are good for your eye health, and regular exercise can decrease the likelihood of developing glaucoma by 25%. Far too many people make the mistake of getting in shape or going on a diet for the wrong reasons. When that happens, it’s easy to “fall off the wagon.” Healthy habits aren’t about dieting, they’re about making the best lifelong choices for your overall wellness. When you start teaching that to your family – especially young children – they are lessons that will stick with them into adulthood.
Finding Everyday Lessons
Sometimes, sitting down and covering the dimensions of health and wellness or trying to lecture your family on how to be healthy isn’t the best approach. There is a time and a place for those long talks, of course. But, you might have better luck incorporating different aspects of health and wellness into everyday situations.
Consider putting together a garden with your kids to help them understand the importance of healthy eating. Create a nighttime routine so everyone gets enough sleep. Sneak in physical activities through games or sports your children love. It’s easier for everyone when health and wellness are introduced naturally.
By taking the time to help your family understand health and wellness now, you’re setting yourself, your children, and the future generations of your family up for success. When healthy habits are instilled at a young age, they carry on. Your children will be more likely to share them with their kids, and that positive cycle will continue. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your lessons and have fun while reaping the rewards of a healthy, fulfilled family.