Home Gardens – The Secret Antidote For The Couch Potato Kids

Home Gardens – The Secret Antidote For The Couch Potato Kids

The lure of TV, video games, and the internet has played a major role in modern society’s obesity crisis among children. Frankly, getting the kids off of the sofa is one of the hardest challenges facing all parents. You’ve probably tried a host of intricate plans in a bid to win the war. However, as with many things in life, the simple solution is often the best. In truth, the humble back garden may be the greatest weapon in your arsenal by far.

Before thinking too much about the garden’s appeal, you must focus on its suitability. Protecting the backyard is particularly vital when you intend to invest money in new products and valuables. Keeping burglars at bay with the right plant selections is a great starting point. Then again, you shouldn’t only think about the threat of intruders. Given that you can’t keep your eyes on the kids at all times, fixing the gates and locks should be one of the top items on the agenda.

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If the garden has previously gone unloved, you’ll need to declutter it before making new additions. This in itself can be a fun activity, especially when you incentivize the kids with the promise of a new garden toy. This is also a great opportunity to discuss the garden with them to see what types of activities they may wish to enjoy in the brand new backyard.

Those activities can be educational as well as fun too. Growing fruit and vegetables teaches kids about healthy eating while giving them a project to care about. Use Naturally Savvy tutorials to make it more engaging. It won’t get in the way of academic learning, but it may reduce their PlayStation time. Still, there needs to be a genuine sense of enjoyment too.

 Garden games can range from the simple ideas like bat and ball and trampolines to swimming pools and luxury items. The options at your disposal may be influenced by budgets, physical dimensions, and geography. Still, all families should have very few problems finding a way to keep their kids occupied without reverting to hours on Netflix.

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The garden is one of the best places for kids to spend energy, and can also be the safest. It gives you a great chance to keep an eye on them too, which is hugely beneficial for all parents. Build a structure with the help of True North Plans to turn the place into a hosting venue for your children to have their friends over. They’ll maintain a sense of privacy while remaining safe. Better still, it’ll add value to the property.

There’s nothing wrong with kids using technology. In fact, the pool house may be equipped with some of their favorite gadgets. Likewise, teens are likely to share their adventures with friends on social media. Nevertheless, a great outdoor space at home will get them off of the sofa to spend their leisure hours in a far more productive fashion. Quite frankly, that’s all any parent could ever ask for.

 

 

 

3 Supplements You Should Stop Taking Immediately

3 Supplements You Should Stop Taking Immediately

There are thousands of supplements out there that all claim to have health benefits, but it’s difficult to know whether they’re telling the truth. Some of them are great for you, others might just do nothing at all. But in some cases, they can actually be incredibly bad for you and if you take them in large quantities, you can damage your health considerably. That’s why it’s important to do a bit of research before you start taking any of them and consult a doctor to make sure that it’s safe. If you take lots of supplements, then check this list to make sure you aren’t taking any of these unsafe ones.

 

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Rock Based Calcium

 

Calcium can’t be bad, surely? Calcium, in general, isn’t bad. It promotes healthy bones and teeth and everybody should get a good amount in their diet. However, when it comes to supplements, the most common varieties are ones that are extracted from rocks like limestone. These supplements can actually have negative effects on your health. It causes digestive problems and constipation in lots of people so it should be avoided. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take calcium supplements at all though. AlgaeCal plant calcium side effects are nonexistent because it is made from plant algae. This is far easier to digest than the traditional rock based supplements so you don’t get any of the stomach problems that usually come with calcium tablets.

 

Green Tea Extract Powder

 

This is another one that fools people quite often because drinking green tea in its normal form is actually very good for you. But the extract in powder form that some people are taking has quite a long list of negative side effects. Retailers boast of the extract’s weight loss powers, but that comes at a price. It causes dizziness, increases blood pressure and heart rate, and damages your liver. But the worst effect that it has is reducing your body’s ability to absorb iron. If you’re taking large amounts of this stuff, you massively increase the risk of developing conditions like anemia that are caused by low levels of iron.

 

Caffeine Powder

 

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Most of us consume caffeine on a daily basis from coffee or tea, but taking a concentrated powder form has become a recent trend in the fitness world. People are using it as a pre-workout supplement to boost their energy levels. While studies have shown that small amounts of caffeine can actually be beneficial, taking this amount is definitely not good for you. Side effects include seizures, bad sleep patterns, irregular heartbeat, and even heart attacks if you go overboard. So, next time you hit the gym, don’t pump yourself up with dangerous amounts of caffeine. You’ll just have to rely on good old fashioned motivation to get through your workouts.

 

These are just a few of the supplements on the market that are bad for you, but there are thousands more out there. It is difficult to know which ones do what they say, and which ones are dangerous. The best thing to do is speak to your doctor and do extensive research before putting any new substance into your body, regardless of what the retailers have promised you.

Keeping Up With The Kids

Keeping Up With The Kids

Having healthy kids is very important to most parents. They will go to any length to ensure their small ones are getting the best nutrition, healthcare, and medical treatment. Although sometimes they can forget to look after themselves quite as well. However keeping as healthy as possible is a vital task for any mom or dad, as not only can it allow you to keep up with the kids when they are running around and causing chaos. But it can also promote a longer lifespan, meaning you can be there for your children as they grow up. With this in mind, keep reading to find out how to improve your health and with the kids.

 

Nutrition

 

Obviously one of the most important ways that you can keep healthy is to watch what you are consuming. Something that can be tough when you have the kids to feed, work to do, and are generally busy most of the time.

Energy

Firstly, when you have little ones that aren’t sleeping through the night but seem perfectly happy to spend time running around in the day, it can be a drain on your physical energy supplies.

 

But what can you do to address this? Well, your diet has a huge effect on how we feel, so it’s via top use this to your advantage. For instance, it can be much more useful to include a varied menu including wholemeal carbohydrates for steady energy release that to follow a so called healthy eating plan that cut these out altogether. Something that has become very popular lately.

 

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Remember too that eating something full of refined sugar like a candy bar may help you get through the next half an hour of tidying the house, and playing with the kids. But it’s probably just setting you up to feel even worse later on.

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This is because refined sugar is released quickly into your bloodstream. Producing a high that quickly fades, leaving you feeling worse off than you did before. So steer clear of candy as much as possible to get a steadier stream of energy throughout the day.  

 

Supplements

Another way that you can set yourself up to keep up with the kids is to include some supplements regularly in your diet. Of course, which ones you choose completely depends on what area you could do with a little help in.

 

For increased energy throughout the day take things like Ginseng and Vitamin B12 which are believed to have a positive effect on the metabolism. Or if ageing in a healthy way and being there for your kids for as long as possible is your main concern why not try things like Shilajit or Krill Oil?

However, if it’s stress that is getting to you as a busy parent, then you could give Evening Primrose Oil or Calcium a go. As not eating enough Calcium is know to create overactivity in nerves cells, something that may be linked to an increase in anxiety. Remember if you are calm, then it can really make dealing with juniors tantrums that bit easier.

 

Alcohol

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Lastly, in relation to nutrition let’s take a quick look at alcohol. Most people enjoy a drink or two special occasions, and it can have a short term calming effect.

However, alcohol is pretty much empty calories as it has no nutritional content. It can also be habit forming and cause behavior changes when drunk to excess. Not to mention making getting up at 5 am for the kid’s breakfast all the more difficult! That is why is important to be careful with your alcohol intake when you are a parent.

It’s not about abstaining unless that is what you want to do. But it is about ensuring that it’s treat rather than a coping mechanism. So when you do imbibe it doesn’t create problems for you or in the family dynamic.

 

Exercise

Certainly being physically fit and healthy when you have kids can really help. Not only does it allow you more stamina in keeping up with them, but it can help with your mental well being as well.

Cardio

Really getting the body moving has so many benefits. It produces endorphins that regulate mood, it pumps fresh, clean oxygenated blood around our bodies, fighting off fatigue, and it also helps to burn off any excess calories that we have consumed.

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But there is a problem with cardio activities like running, aerobics, or spinning, and that they can take a lot of motivation to get started. That’s right it’s often more of a mental block than a physical one. So what can we do about this?

Well, it’s all about reminding yourself of why you are doing it. That it is to keep fit and healthy for your kids. By doing this, you can overcome some of the struggles of getting going and being away from them for an hour or two while you work out.

 

Stretching

However, it’s also important to note that it’s not just cardio activities alone that make you fit and healthy. They also need to be combined with stretching and working the muscles in a less high impact way.

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Activities that can fulfill this need include yoga, pilates, and some slower forms of dance.

By working the muscle in this way, you ensure good balance and posture. Something that can take a serious bashing when you have a little one, because you are constantly bending down to pick them up or carry them.  

 

Teams sports

Being a parent that gets involved with a team sport is also something that can have a positive effect. This is you get the benefit of the exercise, and it also serves as a time where you get a break from parenting and get to socialize with other adults.

 

This is important as your priorities shift when you become a parent. So it’s very easy to lose yourself in the role because it’s so important to you. But maintaining an interest outside the home can help you remind yourself that a parent is not the only thing that you are. As well as refrain refreshed to your duties.

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Mental well-being

You know what they say: “Happy mom happy baby.” Well, in reality, this is true for both parents. But how can you ensure that you value your own happiness, as well as doing everything you can to look after your child?

 

Me time

Firstly, consider some regular me time. Just because you are a parent doesn’t mean that you can never spend any time alone again. Yes, things will change, and getting that alone time may be a bit more difficult. But as long as you have someone trustworthy to take care of the kids, you shouldn’t feel guilty for taking some time to do something you love every once in awhile.

You could book yourself a spa day and relax in the sauna and hot tub. Or you could plan a day out with friends. You could even leave junior with the grandparents and have a romantic night out, just the two of you.

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These breaks may seem like luxuries, but they really are essentials, because parenting is a marathon, not a sprint. Meaning sometimes you have to slow down and prioritize your own well-being to be the best parent possible.  

Mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation are also something that you may want to consider when you become a parent. As they can help to center you and allow you to remain in charge of the situation, however stressful it gets.

 

Mindfulness is a non-denominational activity, where you spend time focusing on your breath. This allows you to observe the thoughts, sensations, and feelings that you have, with a degree of separation. This separation then allows you to choose how you want to behave, instead of being reactive.

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Something that is so useful when you are a parent, as it can help you stay calm and consistent when dealing with misbehavior and discipline. It can also help you to lower your own stress levels when things feel overwhelming because it provides a chance to remind yourself are in charge of what is happening, and the direction that you are taking the kids in. Instead of them bending to their demands.

 

Spirituality

Lastly, something parents should consider for their mental well-being is keeping up with their spiritual practices. Having kids is hard, some days are going to be rough, but having faith that you can rely on and use a s a strength of power can really help.

 

Of course, spirituality means different things to different people, as some folks may like to attend their local church, temple, or mosque. While for others a walk in nature or a quiet prayer may be the right choice.

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Although it is worth noting that most organized religions are excellent at providing a support network for parents. Whether that be in the forms of education and entertainment groups for the kids, or the benefit of fellowship and advice for the adults.

 

Could your wallpaper and paint be making you sick?

Could your wallpaper and paint be making you sick?

Could your wallpaper and paint be making you sick?

We spend a lot of time inside in our lifetime. There are estimates that we spend over 90 percent of our lives inside, which means that the air quality in our home and office is going to have a huge effect on our overall health. While we can easily avoid having dust, allergens and some chemicals, there are chemicals that we cannot avoid completely. Paint and wallpaper can be made with chemicals that could be making us sick.
One of the most known chemicals that was used in paint and wallpaper in the past was lead. Lead can still be found in paint and wallpaper that are in homes that haven’t been renovated in the past 50 years. These lead based paints and wallpapers are still very dangerous, even after all this time. Children have gotten lead poisoning from eating paint chips and pieces of wallpaper. There are even reports of children becoming sick from touching the walls, and becoming sick from placing their hands near their face before washing their hands. Exposure to lead has many effects on your long-term health. However, lead-based paint is not the only type of paint that you need to be careful of. There are many chemicals that are used to create paints and wallpapers that could have a huge effect on our health. Here are just a few risks of using paint and wallpaper in your home.

Is Your Home Making You Sick?
Most people would like to think that they do not spend a huge amount of time at home, but when it is totaled up, we spend most of our lives at home, inside. In our homes and at work is where we are exposed to the most amount of airborne pollutants. The EPA has found that 6 in 10 homes and buildings are classified as ‘sick’.
Sick House Syndrome has become a growing problem because more household products are made with a huge amount of chemicals. We all know about the chemicals that are in cleaning products, but paint and wallpaper are two products that have been overlooked in the past few decades. Paint and wallpaper still are made with a huge amount of chemicals that most of us don’t think about or worry about. However, these chemicals are easy to breathe in because of their fumes and their drying processes. It is not just professional painters who are at risk for the side effects of the paint fumes, which is why you should limit your and your family exposure to these products.

What Can You Do to Limit Your Exposure to Paint and Wallpaper Chemicals?
Paint and wallpaper have different chemicals that are used to make and apply them.
Most times, wallpaper is seen as the less dangerous of the two options, but there are chemicals in the colorants that are used to create the print on the wallpaper. Most times, wallpaper creators will not have the chemicals that are used listed to make the wallpaper. The glue that is used to adhere the wallpaper is also full of chemicals. These chemicals can create fumes that you can easily breathe in. You can also get the glue on your skin, which could cause breakouts and chemical burns.
You can limit your exposure to the chemicals that are in wallpaper by wearing a mask. There are also all natural wallpaper glue and eco-friendly wallpapers that you can use. These products can limit the number of harsh chemicals that you are exposed to. If you have to use chemical based wallpapers, you should wipe the wallpaper down after it has had time to fully adhere to the wall. This can help eliminate dangerous chemicals, especially if you have children in the home because the excess chemicals can stay on the top of the wallpaper for years.
In recent years, paint and varnishes have become the more popular option for covering walls and furniture because they come in just about every color of the rainbow. While lead has been banned from being used in paints and varnishes in most countries at this point, there are new chemicals being used that are just as bad, if not worse. These chemicals are called Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC, and evaporate into the air. This makes them very easy to breathe in if you are not careful. VOCs can be found in many products, not just paint. The issue is that they can cause sinusitis, asthma, fertility problems, birth defects, neurological disorders, and cancer. This can be very worrying, but you can still paint your walls without having to exposing yourself or your family to these chemicals.
Paint is divided into two categories, which are water-based and oil-based. Water-based paints can also be called acrylic emulsions and are the most common type of paint that is now used on house walls. This type of paint has fewer risks than oil-based paints because they are low-odor, and many times do not have huge amounts of VOC’s in them. If you are worried about VOCs and other chemicals that could be used in paint, there are natural paints like the ones from Auro and New Life Paint, which are VOC-free and odorless.
Natural paints also make it easy to clean your brushes after painting a room because you just need to wash them with soap and water.

What if I Do Not Want to Repaint or Wallpaper a Room?
Most of the danger of using paint stops after the paint is dry and the fumes have been removed from the room due to air flow. Lead has not been used in paints for decades, but if you are worried about lead in your home’s paint, you will need to have new dry-wall installed and paint the new dry-wall with safe paint products. There are lead testing kits that you can use to find out if the paint has lead in it. If it doesn’t have lead, most of the time washing the walls is more than enough to remove any chemical residue.
Wallpaper has many chemicals in the paper and the glue. This is why it is not the preferred option, especially if you are trying to avoid having chemicals in your home. If your home has wallpaper, you can reduce the amount of chemicals that you are exposed to by wiping down the wallpaper regularly. The best option is to remove the wallpaper altogether because the paper or cloth that was used to make it could be holding onto chemicals, dust, mold, and other harmful airborne pollutants that can make their way into our homes.
With most of us spending over 90 percent of our lives inside, it is disturbing to think about how many chemicals that are allowed to be in our paint and wallpaper. Today, there are more paints and wallpapers that are eco-friendly or have lower amount of dangerous ingredients available for people are redecorating their homes. Low-fume paints have been recommended for anyone who is worried about the chemicals in paint. If you need to repaint or wallpaper your home, you should make sure that you wear a mask and have all the windows open. Taking these precautions will help reduce the amount of chemicals that you and your family are exposed to.

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How toxic are the candles that you burn in your home

How toxic are the candles that you burn in your home

You can find scented candles in just about every home, and for some people in every room. Scented candles are a part of most people’s everyday life. They have become a multi-billion dollar business worldwide. However, under the beautiful packaging and the nice scent are a number of toxic chemicals that are linked to some major health problems. So, why are so many people still using them? Simply put, scented candles are an easy way to mask odor that are readily available to buy.

When you start breaking a candle down, they are really just a huge source of air pollution that looks nice. Some of the chemicals that scented candles contain are considered to be at the danger levels of second-hand smoke. Most of the scented candles on the market are made from Paraffin, which is a waste product that comes from the petroleum industry. It is deodorized and bleached, before it is made into wax. When this wax is burned, it releases carcinogenic chemicals. These chemicals can also cause other respiratory issues, and are the same ones that are found in diesel fuel fumes.

Soy based waxes have become popular in the last few years, as they burn longer and seem to be more eco-friendly. The problem is that many of the soy based waxes are made from GMO soy. GMO soy is not a problem for some people, but if you prefer to be GMO free, check with the company.

In 2009, researchers at the South Carolina State University tested both the paraffin candles and vegetable-based candles that were non-scented, not pigmented and free of any dyes. The report found that the vegetable-based candles did not create any potentially harmful pollutants. However, the paraffin candles were releasing unwanted chemicals into the air.

In the United States, candle wicks are only being made from cotton or paper. However, there are a handful of candles on the market that contain lead and other heavy metals in their wicks. They make up about 30% of the scented candles. If you were to burn one of these candles with heavy metals in the wick, the amount of heavy metal in the air would be much higher than the acceptable limits. Lead can cause damage to the central nervous system, along with respiratory issues.

Have you ever wondered about how the scent is created in a scented candle? For most fragrant candles, it is with artificial scents. Many companies also use artificial dyes to color the wax of scented candles. These both have huge amounts of chemicals that are released into the air once the candle is lit. There are many, different chemicals that go into making these artificial colors and scents, so there is really no way of knowing exactly what chemicals are being released into the air. Many of these chemicals can trigger allergic reactions. Anne Steinemann, an environmental pollutant expert from the University of Melbourne, has found toxins like benzene and toluene in scented candles. These chemicals do not just damage the lungs, they also cause damage to the brain and the central nervous system. Developmental difficulties have also been linked to these chemicals.

These are the three main components in the candle making process. However, there are thousands more chemicals that you can find used in paraffin candles. Some of the chemicals are Acetone, Carbon Disulfide, Carbon Tetrachloride, Tetrachloroethene, Xylene, Cresol, and Phenol. These chemicals are regularly found in paint thinners, paint, varnish removers, and lacquer. Nearly all the products that these chemicals are found in require you to wear a breathing mask when you are using them. These chemicals are powerful and dangerous. They can cause allergic reactions, breathing problems, and some are even carcinogenic.

If you still want to have scented candles in your home, there are some candles that you should out right avoid, and some that are your best option.
When you are looking to buy candles, avoid the dollar store or super cheap candles. Most times, they will use cheap materials to make the candles, which equals more toxins. They may also be imported, so they don’t have to adhere to the strict guidelines that North American candles have to follow. Gel candles should also be avoided like scented candles. They may look nice; however, there are extra chemicals added to keep them in that jelly state. Febreeze, Glade, and other cheap aromatherapy candles should also be avoided. To be truthful, there is nothing therapeutic about the scents these companies use and they are some of the worst producers of the artificial scents.

If you still like scented candles, and are going to shop at a major retailer, pick higher end candles. These higher end candles are less likely to use heavy metal in the wicks and have synthetic scents. Make sure to check closely since some high-end candles still use synthetic scents. Taper candles are another option to think about, as they are less likely to contain lead, next to tea lights.

The best options for candles are beeswax and soy candles. Beeswax are pricey; however, they are the healthier option of the two. Beeswax is created by bees, and is collected by beekeepers. Beeswax has a natural scent of honey, which is very light. Most of the beeswax candles are scented with essentials oils, which nearly all are safe to burn. The most common colors of beeswax candles are normally off white, light brown, and yellow. However, non-toxic dyes can be used to dye the candle to the same bright colours that are found in major stores.
When you want to buy a beeswax candle, you should look for one that is labeled 100% beeswax. Some brands will label their candles ‘beeswax candle’ and still have paraffin in them. This is allowed as long as there is beeswax in the candle, or you can simply make your own. There are many guides online to show you how to make your own candles. You can also buy beeswax sheets online, but your local bee farmer may have beeswax sheets for sale. Beeswax candles come in all shapes and sizes, if you are willing to look for them.
Beeswax candles also have the benefit of emitting negative ions. Negative ions are great since they reduce the amount of charged ions in the air. Positive ions or charged ions are made by other scented candles, electrical devices, heating and cooling systems, and even walking across a carpet. While the ions themselves are not damaging, they can carry dust, pollen, and mold. When negative ions are added to a room, they bind to the positive ions and are not floating in the air as they are too heavy to stay airborne.

Soy candles are a great option,soy candles burn for a really long time, and don’t have any harmful fumes. Like beeswax, soy candles can be found in just about every color and natural scent out there. However, soy candles are easier to find and are much cheaper than beeswax candles. You will need to look for a 100% soy label as well, as some makers will add paraffin to the mix to lower the price of the product. There are also soy wax candle making kits and guides available online.
There are also blended beeswax and soy candles on the market. These candles use a mixture of both beeswax and soy wax to make the candle. These candles have benefits from both ingredients and come in a wide of variety of colors and shapes. You need to make sure that the only waxes the company uses are beeswax and soy, since some candle makers will try to sneak Paraffin into their candles.

Toxic scented candles that are available in just about every store and home do not look they are going to be removed from the market any time soon. The candle market has grown into a mutli-billion dollar industry in the past few years. Making the switch to beeswax or soy candles is the best option for you and your family’s health. You just need to check the ingredient list to make sure that you are buying pure products. There many online shops to pick from, and most areas have at least one candle maker that may use one of the pure waxes. If you feel creative, you can also learn how to make your own pure candles.

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Keeping Children Healthy Even When Your Schedule Is Hectic

Keeping Children Healthy Even When Your Schedule Is Hectic

When it comes to parenting, it can often like there are a million tasks to take care and not enough hours in the day to make sure they’re all done. One of these tasks is your children’s health, and in between everything else, it’s no wonder that this is one of the things that is left by the wayside. After all, children get enough exercise when they’re running around at school, don’t they? Wrong. No matter how hectic your lifestyle is, it’s up to you to ensure your child’s health is in tip-top condition. Here’s how.

 

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Eating Well

Everything begins in the kitchen, with what your children eat. When you’ve got no time, and everyone needs to be fed, it’s tempting to throw together anything that can be considered ‘food’ and be done with it. But poor health often stems from what we eat, and we should go to extra lengths to ensure that everyone is being fed properly. There are delicious, healthy meals that are cheap and which can be put together in no time at all. Also, make sure you’re giving them healthy snacks rather than chocolate and other sugary substances!

Evening Games

You’re not busy all the time. It’s mostly during the day. In the evenings, you probably have time where you can have a bit of downtime and spend some time with the children. Unfortunately, it’s usually dark outside by that time, so you can’t get active. Or can you? If you invest in a Wii console or something similar that enables the family to have fun and stay active at the same time, you’ll be giving everyone a little extra boost of movement, which can help keep them fit and healthy.

Preventative Measures

It’s not easy when our child falls ill. We might have to take them to the doctor or take time off work to nurse them back to health from home. Neither of these is welcome when you’ve got plenty of other tasks you should be taking care of, so it’s important that you have the right preventative measures in place. For example, make sure all your children know the hygiene practices, such as washing their hands regularly. Using your smartphone or computer to talk with an online Dr can also save a trip to the hospital, without compromising the health of your children. Finally, don’t underestimate daily vitamins: they can make the difference between falling ill and staying healthy.  

Weekend Activities

When it comes to the weekend, try to fit in some family activities. If you can’t spare the time yourself, then find a community sports team for your child to get involved with. They’ll be getting their extra dose of exercise, and you’ll also have some time to yourself to get all the other details taken care of. It’s a win-win!

Setting the Example

Finally, make sure you’re setting a good health example to your children. Children learn all about this stuff intuitively from what they see in their home. If you’re staying healthy, they’ll stay healthy in the long run too!