Thursday, June 2, 2016

5 Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy

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Your family’s health is one of your top concerns. Thankfully, there are plenty of simple steps you can take to keep your family healthy. If you’re looking to contribute to the health of your family, consider these five easy practices.

Eat a Rainbow of Colors

Image via Flickr by Anthony Albright

You can boost your family members’ immune systems by providing plenty of nutritious and healthy meals and snacks. To make sure you’re getting a good mix of antioxidants and vitamins, go for a variety of colors in your fruits and vegetables. For example, the red in tomatoes and watermelon is from lycopene, which can help protect against certain cancers. The orange in sweet potatoes and carrots comes from beta-carotene, which helps keep eyes healthy and bones strong. While fresh fruits and vegetables are best, you can also keep frozen ones on hand for convenience.

Drink More Water

Your body is about 60 percent water, so drinking plenty of this vital liquid throughout the day can help in many ways. Water aids in digestion, transportation of nutrients, creation of saliva, and evenness of body temperature. Since your skin contains a lot of water, drinking more will also help keep it smooth and hydrated. Inside your body, water helps keep everything moving along in your gastrointestinal tract and helps your kidneys flush out waste.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Rest is very important for every member of your family, especially growing children. While toddlers need up to 14 hours of sleep, they often get only about 10 hours. Children don’t start needing as little as eight or nine hours of sleep until they’re at least 12 years old. Sleep helps improve learning, creativity, decision-making, and attention.

Wash Your Hands

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing the hands is one of the most important steps to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. Germs from unwashed hands are easily transferred to doorknobs, handrails, and toys. Since we touch our eyes, nose, and mouth more than we realize, these germs can enter our bodies and make us sick. Washing the hands with soap and water can cut illnesses like colds by up to 21 percent and keep more dangerous germs at bay.

Promote Clean Air

To make sure you have clean, healthy air circulating throughout your home, it’s important to change your air filters regularly and schedule seasonal maintenance for your HVAC system. Bacteria, dust, and other contaminants all circulate in the air inside your home. This can lead to sickness or can worsen problems such as allergies and asthma. Air filters help capture these contaminants and maintain clean airflow through your home. Change your air filters at least three times a year, or more often if you have pets or other factors that could contribute to dirtier than normal filters.

Keeping your family healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. From washing your hands throughout the day to reaching for a glass of water instead of soda, these simple practices can help your family stay healthy.