It may be difficult for moms to set aside time for themselves. They are often more focused on their children’s health, and the thought of sticking to New Year’s Resolutions may add to stress rather than alleviate it. However, eating well and exercising benefits moms and everyone in the family.
As a physician practicing at Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City and a working mom to active preschool twins, I know just how important it is for moms to take care of themselves. Here are quick tips anyone (especially moms) can follow to keep health top-of-mind.
10 Easy Tips Mom Can Follow to Stay Healthy
- Get some “me” time. Take a moment for yourself every day to rest and recharge your batteries. This can be by meditating, reading a book, painting or any activity that allows you to de-stress.
- Break up your workout. Moms are busy and it might be hard to fit in a long workout all at once, so start with 15 minutes at the start of your day, 15 minutes at lunch, and 15 minutes when you get home.
- Experiment with replacing fruits and veggies in your favorite recipes. Some use shredded cauliflower in place of rice, or throw it in a blender with broth as a replacement for mashed potatoes. I add fruit to salads. Try tossing a handful of spinach in your family’s smoothies. (Your kids will never know it’s there!)
- Say no to refined carbs. Focus on eating lean protein and healthy fats instead of sugar and processed food when you need a snack.
- Re-think what you drink. Instead of coffee with sugar, syrup and whipped cream, try green tea. If you prefer flavor in your water, try lemon or a fruit infuser. Liquid calories add up.
- Make a healthy plate with your children. Cook a meal with your family that includes a healthy plate with half vegetables, one quarter lean protein, and one quarter whole grains. This is a great way to teach your kids about portions.
- Track your progress for success. Those who track their progress and keep a food diary using tools such as MyFitnessPal are more successful than those who don’t track their calorie intake and fitness progress. Be sure to celebrate your wins in healthy ways. (Buying a new gym accessory is a great way to celebrate.)
- Kick it up a notch. High-intensity interval training is a super-fast and very effective way to work out, not to mention a great way to torch calories. Try taking a brisk walk or run with your kids, pet or spouse.
- Make fitness a family affair. Exercise can be a great time to bond with your family and cultivate healthy habits early. Start with walking. I host a weekly “Walk with a Doc” program that meets every Wednesday at the Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center.
- Strive for balance. Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. This will help keep your body regulated and reduces stress. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
And most importantly, make healthy living a part of your everyday life. Use the New Year as inspiration to refocus on your health.
You can find more healthy tips, recipes and information at foodforhealth.kaiserpermanente.org.