Eating healthy has a wide range of benefits to the body, including physical and emotional benefits. Learning a healthy lifestyle during childhood is recommended for a lifetime of health. The American Heart Association has great information for staying healthy. Their information tells us that 1 in 3 kids is overweight today and those overweight have about a 75% chance of staying overweight their entire life. The key to stopping childhood obesity is eating right, with physical activity and good role models to lead the way. Eating foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, added sugars and calories, but low in nutrient value, are leading to kids not eating a balanced diet to stay healthy. About 60 minutes per day of physical activity is recommended.
A healthy lifestyle can go far beyond the obvious risks, such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Good skin, hair and nails can be a sign of how healthy a person is. These foods (among others) are great for skin, hair and nails: raw organic almonds, greens (the darker the green, the better), orange root vegetables, raw organic pumpkin seeds and oats. Basically, you’re looking for Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E in your foods. Sugar, artificial sweeteners, fast foods and processed foods are not considered good for you skin, hair and nails.
Healthy eating can reduce the risk of cancer. Processed and red meat and salt-preserved foods can increase the risk of developing cancer. Fruits, vegetables and foods high in fiber, can reduce your cancer risk. Improved memory and a better mood are also linked to eating healthy. Eating healthy, combined with exercise, also helps prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
Offering fruits and vegetables at every meal is recommended. At least 5 or more servings per day is desired. Avoid a lot of sugar. Limiting sugar to about 25g a day is recommended. Sugary drinks are a main contributing factor in childhood obesity. Soda, juice, lemonades, sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and coffee can be loaded with sweeteners and offer little nutritional value. A 12oz can of coke contains 39 grams of sugar (already over the daily recommendation). A better choice is low fat milk or water. Keep in mind that the health risks of diet drinks are also controversial.
Kids playing, can keep them active with exercise. Encourage your kids to play active games. Exercise leads to stronger muscles and bones, leaner bodies, less risk of being overweight, a lower chance of type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, better sleep and a better emotional outlook on life. The 3 elements of fitness are: endurance, strength and flexibility. Aerobic activities will strengthen the heart and improves the body’s ability to carry oxygen to all its cells. Building strength can include things like lifting weights, push-ups, stomach crunches and pull-ups, among more. Flexibility allows muscles and joints to bend and move easily. This is great news for dancers, as most dance programs focus on all 3 elements of fitness.
Embracing a healthy lifestyle for yourself, will allow you to be a good role model for your family. Embracing a healthy lifestyle will improve your physical and emotional well-being. Embracing a healthy lifestyle for your family is good for a lifetime of benefits for you and your kids.