Tips, Tools and Activities
How to Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment
A good night’s sleep is essential to your family’s health and well-being. Follow these tips for creating an environment conducive to good sleep:
- Make sure that the room is quiet, dark, cool and comfortable
- Limit the times pets sleep in the bed, because they can be disruptive to the sleep cycle.
- Fans, humidifiers, the right blankets and a comfortable mattress may all be ways to improve the quality of your family’s sleep
Play Every Day
Wear a Pedometer: As a parent, you should model good fitness behavior. To stay active, consider wearing a pedomieter. Studies have shown that simply wearing a pedometer increases the amount of physical activity that people get every day. These small devices are readily available. In fact, you can download a mobile app so you can use your cell phone to see how much you are walking! Try to increase the total number of steps you take by just a few each day and soon you’ll be getting the hour of moderate activity recommended for a healthy lifestyle.
How to Steer Clear of Unhealthy Fats: Fats are an essential part of growth and health. For children ages 5 to 12, nearly a third of the daily calories in the healthy foods we provide should come from fat. To avoid fats that are not particularly healthy, the “Nutrition Facts” label is your best tool. Read labels carefully to steer clear of trans fats. Saturated fat is another fat that your family can easily eat too much of if we are not paying attention to recipes and food lables. Low-fat dairy products, avocados, no-sugar added peanut butter or almond butter, and modest amounts of foods prepared in olive, canola or peanut oil are healthy options for the whole family to get the fat they need.
I am trying to bring my family together more for meals. Are there any ways I can make this time more special?
Mealtime is perfect for family conversation. . Keep in mind that after a long day, school may be the last thing they may want to talk about at the table. Try using mealtime for sharing stories about things unrelated to school or work. Engage your children in conversation that excites them and give yourself an opportunity to learn more about their other interests. Bring extra patience to the meal to allow time for everyone to share in a way that is comfortable to them.
Read YMCA.net Blogs:
This Week in Moms: At the Y My Kids Have Many Friends
This Week in Runners: Running Just 5 Miles a Week Adds Years