Howdy, y’all! Are you a proud Texan who loves everything from BBQ to cowboy boots? I know I sure am! But while Texas may be famous for its larger-than-life personality, the state faces severe health challenges. With a high prevalence of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, we Texans must band together and prioritize our health. As matriarchs and homemakers, we are responsible for keeping our families healthy and happy.
But don’t worry; we won’t tell you to give up your brisket or sweet tea (perish the thought!). Instead, we’ve got some simple, practical tips to help you and your family lead a healthy and fulfilling life without sacrificing the things that make Texas great.
Get Regular Checkups
Putting them off is easy, but regular checkups are critical for maintaining good health. So, here’s the deal: make sure everyone in your family, from the youngest to the oldest, gets regular checkups—schedule appointments for routine checkups and vaccinations. Don’t wait until someone is sick or experiencing symptoms to see a doctor. Regular checkups can help detect underlying health conditions early on, leading to more effective treatment.
Now that we know the importance of regular checkups let’s discuss who should perform them. While there are many healthcare providers, we recommend getting your checkups done by a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
FNPs are trained to provide comprehensive healthcare to patients of all age groups, from infants to the elderly. They can provide routine checkups, manage chronic illnesses, and even diagnose common acute illnesses. Plus, they take a holistic approach to healthcare, which means they not only focus on physical health but also on mental and emotional well-being. So, if you’re looking for a healthcare provider for your family’s regular checkups, consider one with a UTA FNP program degree since they have the expertise, compassion, and dedication to help keep your family healthy and happy.
As Texans, we love our BBQ, Tex-Mex, and all things fried. But let’s face it; those foods aren’t always the healthiest options. The good news is that you don’t need to give up your favorite foods to eat healthily.
Add more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to your family’s meals. Try grilling some chicken or fish instead of always opting for fried options. Use herbs and spices to add flavor instead of relying on salt or sugar. It’s also important to watch portion sizes. We love our big plates and hearty meals, but sometimes those portions can be too generous. Use smaller dishes to help control portions; don’t feel like you have to finish everything that is cooked.
Finally, don’t forget to stay hydrated! It can get hot and dry in Texas. CPC’s outlook report puts Texas at a 40 to 50% chance of experiencing above-normal temperatures in 2023. So ensure you and your family drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Regular physical activity is essential for good health, no matter where you live. As a family, finding ways to stay active together can improve your physical and mental health and overall well-being.
There are many ways to stay active as a family, even with busy schedules. Encourage your family to take a walk after dinner or go for a bike ride on the weekends. Consider signing up for a family-friendly exercise class or sports league. Even something as simple as playing catch in the backyard or having a dance party in the living room can get everyone moving and having fun.
Limiting sedentary activities like watching TV or playing video games is also important. Encourage your family to find activities they enjoy that get them up and moving. And don’t forget to lead by example – if your family sees you prioritizing physical activity, they’re more likely to follow suit.
Remember, the key to staying active is finding activities you enjoy and making them a regular part of your family’s routine. So, lace up your sneakers and get moving – your body (and your family!) will thank you.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health. Adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, while children and teenagers may need more. Establishing a regular sleep schedule is critical. Encourage your family to go to bed and wake up at a fixed time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and improves sleep quality. Creating a bedtime routine can also help signal the body that it’s time to wind down. This could include activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath.
It’s essential to create a sleep-conducive environment as well. Ensure the bedroom is cool, quiet, and dark, and invest in comfortable pillows and mattresses. Limit screen time before bed, as the blue light emitted by digital devices can disrupt sleep patterns.
Finally, be mindful of caffeine and alcohol intake, as both can interfere with sleep quality. Encourage your family to avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening and to limit alcohol intake.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Maintaining good hygiene is an essential aspect of keeping your family healthy. Basic hygiene practices can help prevent the spread of germs and illnesses and promote overall well-being.
You can encourage your family to wash their hands regularly, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose. Teach younger children to sing the “Twinkle Twinkle” poem twice while washing their hands to ensure they’re washing for the recommended 20 seconds.
In addition to handwashing, it’s essential to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like countertops, doorknobs, and light switches. Ensure you use a strong disinfectant that is effective against viruses and bacteria.
Teach your family to cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs. And if someone in the family is sick, encourage them to stay home and rest until they’re feeling better to prevent the spread of illness to others.
By prioritizing your family’s health, you ensure they are physically fit and mentally sound. Establishing healthy habits from an early age is essential as it can positively impact their future well-being. You can foster a positive environment that promotes health and wellness by making small yet impactful changes in your family’s lifestyle. Remember that a healthy family is a happy family, so start implementing these healthy habits today!