When you’re a mom, it’s very easy to put everyone else first. You probably worry about your kids’ health all the time, but how much thought do you give your own well-being? It’s wonderful to make your children your priority, but this shouldn’t mean that you sacrifice good health. Health is something we should never take for granted. If you’re a mom on the go, here are some health hacks to keep you on the right track.
Do you try every trick in the book to get your kids to eat their greens? Are you one of those moms who slaves over a hot stove to provide hearty, nutritious home-cooked meals on a daily basis? If you’re focused on giving your children the best diet possible, apply the same level of attention to what you eat. Your diet is essential for good health because the body depends on food for nutrients, vitamins and minerals. If you don’t eat well, you may be lacking key nutrients, which can affect your health.
When you’re planning menus, try and incorporate healthy meals that everyone can enjoy. If you’re cooking, eat together or batch cook so that you can defrost and warm up individual portions. If you’re pushed for time, this is a great way of ensuring you all eat well and it can save a lot of hassle. It’s also a good idea to try and plan in advance and to search for quick and simple recipes. You can buy books and find recipes online that take 15 or 30 minutes, and this is so much better for you than ordering a takeout or trying to survive on snacks you grab on the go.
If you’re not sure whether your diet is healthy or not, it’s wise to keep a food diary. You can download apps that will analyze what you eat on a daily basis. This can help you count calories if you’re trying to either lose or gain weight, but it can also flag up issues related to your daily intake of proteins, fats, sugars, salt and fiber. If your diet is low in some food groups or you’re consuming too much sugar on a daily basis, you can then adjust your plan to make your diet healthier. If you are worried that you’re eating the wrong foods, you can also follow healthy eating plans online or ask your doctor for advice.
Moms often find that they don’t have enough time in the day to prepare and eat three main meals. If this sounds familiar, carry some healthy snacks with you to keep you going throughout the day. Replace chips, cakes and chocolate bars with nuts, seeds, fruit and raw vegetables.
Your sleep pattern
As a mom, your sleep routine may have gone out of the window months or even years ago. The truth is that most parents are devoted to their children, and they spend a great deal of time getting their kids into a bedtime routine. You may think that when you reach adulthood, you don’t need to stick to a pattern, but this might be where you’re going wrong if you do have trouble sleeping. Even if you feel like you’re adapting to four hours of sleep per night, a lack of rest can have long-term implications for your health. This is why it’s so important for parents to do their best to get into a routine too. Of course, there will be nights when bedtime doesn’t go to plan, but try and get to bed and get up at a similar time each day. This will enable your body clock to adjust to a pattern that enables you to get the rest you need. When the kids have gone to bed, take a little time to relax and unwind so that your mind and body are ready for sleep when you climb into your covers. If you have a newborn, it’s virtually impossible to hit the magical eight-hour mark, but try and get your head down whenever your baby is sleeping. If you’ve got parents, a partner or close friends who can help out during the day, this will help you catch up with sleep.
Caring for your skin
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? The skin is incredibly important because it protects the rest of the body from environmental hazards. Your skin is effectively a barrier, and it’s really important to look after it properly. Take a minute to cleanse your skin every morning and evening and apply moisturizer to nourish your skin cells. When you’re looking for skincare products, search for items that match your skin type. If you have sensitive skin, for example, look for products that are dermatologically tested and avoid anything that is perfumed. As you age, you may find that your skin looks and feels different, especially if you’re running on very little sleep. Sagging skin and wrinkles develop as a result of depleted collagen stores. Collagen is the fiber, which gives the skin its firmness and bounce. If you are anxious about the signs of aging, you don’t have to surrender to fine lines just yet. Treatments like a collagen stimulator can help to give your complexion a boost and help you feel more confident. It’s also so important to stay hydrated and protect your skin in the sun. Sun damage is one of the most significant causes of premature aging.
Your exercise regime
Are you always short on time? Is a lack of time the excuse you use every time you skip a workout or you put back the start date of your new fitness regime? Many parents struggle to find the time to be active, but it’s so important to move your body as much as you can. Inactivity is even more hazardous than obesity. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, this may seem like a lot to take on. However, it may not seem like an insurmountable task when you bear in mind that moderate exercise can include anything from walking the dog or taking your baby out in the stroller to shopping and vacuuming. If you’re new to exercise, set yourself small targets and go from there.
Exercise is incredibly beneficial for moms. Not only does it help to keep health issues, such as heart disease, some types of cancer, obesity and type 2 diabetes at bay, it also boosts psychological well-being. When you’re active, and you’re moving around, this triggers a series of reactions in your body. Have you ever noticed that you feel great after a workout? You might find it really tough at the time, but a few minutes after you’ve finished your cool down, you experience a natural high that can last for hours. This is because your body releases endorphins, known as happy hormones when you exercise. The level of serotonin, the chemical that controls your moods, also increases in your brain. Exercise is also proven to bust stress and reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. It can also help you clear your mind, which facilitates better sleep quality.
If time is an issue for you, and you’re worried that you can’t be as active as you want to be, there are ways around this. Many moms are on the go all the time, and this can make it hard to find time to exercise. If this is the case for you, try these ideas. Invest in some basic gym equipment, buy a DVD or follow an online workout and exercise at home. You could fit in a 20-minute session while your children are napping or while they’re at pre-school. Another option is to work out alongside your baby or toddler. You could look into classes, such as yoga, that are geared towards parents or you could join a running club with other moms and take your stroller with you. It’s also worth trying to figure out a system that works for you. If you want to go to a couple of classes each week, for example, perhaps you could liaise with close friends, parents or siblings to get a sitter, or you could take it in turns to watch the baby with your partner so that you both have a little time to yourselves during the week.
As a mom, you’re probably programmed to look out for your kids every single second of the day, but when was the last time you took your health into consideration? It’s very easy to put others first, but you need to take good care of yourself, as well as your children. Hopefully, these simple hacks will help you stay on the right track and improve both your physical and mental health. Focus on a healthy, balanced diet, try and get into some kind of sleep routine and look after your skin. Time is a luxury for many moms, but it is possible to find 20 minutes now and again to work out. Exercise has so many benefits for your general health, and it can also boost your confidence, lift your mood and help you feel more relaxed.