When you have a family to take care of, you’re always on the lookout for exceptional family health tips. After all, the healthier your loved ones are, the better you’ll sleep at night.
Below are some family health tips designed to make sure that everyone in your household feels their best mentally and physically.
Make Sure You Have Health Insurance
Even if you can’t get health insurance from your or your spouse’s employer, you should still look into the possibility of buying it on your own. Having a health plan from a trusted insurance provider helps you mitigate the risk of having to overspend on routine and catastrophic medical treatments.
Without health insurance, you might end up paying much more in a given year than you might if you paid out of pocket every time you had to go to a doctor’s office, urgent care facility, or hospital emergency room.
Remember: Even if you feel great, you can always use the protection that comes from knowing your health insurance will kick in if you incur unexpected costs.
Share a Family Doctor
Want to know one of the best family health tips that lots of parents forget about? It’s making sure everyone eventually goes to the same family practice doctor.
Certainly, you may want a designated pediatrician to treat your children when they are infants. However, when everyone in your home is seen under the care of a single physician or a team-based practice, you gain several advantages.
First of all, your complete medical histories will be located in one place, which is always an advantage. Secondly, the doctor or practice will get you to know you all very well. Nothing feels better than getting compassionate care from professionals who have helped your whole family for years.
Finally, sharing a family doctor among you all may end up with some cost and time savings. Imagine how efficient it would be to set up everyone’s annual checkups at one time so you don’t have to make several trips to see your physician. As they say, time is money. And time well-saved is also money well-saved.
Focus on Nutrition
It can be notoriously tough to eat healthy as a family. There are so many distractions in life. Besides, fast food is tremendously easy to pick up or have delivered. Nevertheless, spending time thinking about the nutrition needs of you and your loved ones is one of those family health tips that you can’t afford to ignore.
If you’ve found it tough to get on a healthier eating regimen, start slowly. Plan to eat at least two home-cooked meals each day, such as breakfast and dinner. Look for recipes for dishes your family will appreciate, and ensure that the dishes are heavy on lean proteins and nutrient-rich veggies. Don’t worry about making food that looks like it came from the pages of a cooking magazine. Even simple meals can be wonderfully filling and satisfying.
Having trouble adjusting to your new food routine? It might be a good idea to talk to an allergy doctor. You could have underlying food allergies that you don’t know about. Or, other members of your family could be allergic to items. By learning everyone’s allergies, you can then remove certain foods from your diets and help everyone feel more comfortable.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Seeing a dentist is one of the smartest family health tips you can follow. Expect to schedule dentist examinations at least twice a year for every member of your family, including small children. The sooner kids realize that dental care is important, the higher the likelihood they’ll never put going to the dentist on the backburner.
Of course, you may feel hesitant to go to a dentist because of something called dental fear. Dental fear, or dental anxiety or phobia, is quite common in both children and adults. Yet it’s something that can be overcome. Many dentists offer sedation dentistry medications that allow you to relax and get your teeth checked or worked on. Sedation dentistry can run the gamut from your breathing in nitrous oxide to taking oral medicines before treatment begins. Definitely talk to your dental provider about sedation options so you can get your teeth in great shape.
You may also want to consider cosmetic dentistry for your kids if they have problems like teeth that are crooked, crowded, or gapped. Having unattractive teeth can lead to a loss of self-esteem, especially in middle and high schoolers. Getting them braces can have a major improvement. Nearly half of teenagers who chose Invisalign clear braces reported an increase in their confidence levels after straightening their teeth.
Get Everyone Moving
Family health tips should always include a nod to physical activity, and these family health tips are no exception to that rule. Get everyone in your household moving and physically active, not just because it’s good for the body, but because it’s good for the spirit, too.
Ideally, you should find activities that every member of your home can do with or without major equipment. Such activities could be walking, running, or swimming in a nearby pool. Of course, if you have a health and wellness center nearby, feel free to take out a family membership.
What are the guidelines for a physical fitness regimen? Generally speaking, most people should get about 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity every day. You may have to aim for a little less some days, especially if you’re busy, and a little more on others. Plenty of families spend their weekends doing physical activities like hiking, biking, skiing, or sledding so they can get in some hours of fitness and have loads of fun, too.
Feel like it’s tough to get your kids to participate? Make it mandatory, but also rewarding. Take a walk together after dinner every evening. Or insist that your children do something physical before they can engage in a non-physical pursuit or hobby. You don’t have to be heavy-handed, but do explain that moving the body is an excellent way to ward off long-term health issues. Who knows? Your child who seems to have zero interest in athletics may discover a new pastime like volleyball, tennis, or power walking.
Take Care of Your Eyes
You get only one pair of eyes, and it’s up to you to take care of them. Many times, families forget that they should go to the eye doctor once annually, if not more often. A visit to the eye doctor usually takes less than two hours and can give you a wealth of information about the wellness of your eyes.
Eye visits are also terrific preventive measures. Scans of your retina and the inside of your eyeball can reveal any possible problems. Often, eye conditions seem to sneak up on people because they don’t always hurt. However, your eye doctor can assist you in diagnosing conditions and recommending treatments.
If you or anyone in your family wears glasses or contact lenses, you’ll definitely need to prioritize eye doctor appointments. You cannot order contact lenses, even online, without an updated prescription. And you won’t know if your glasses prescription has changed if you aren’t going to the eye doctor as often as you should.
Not worried because you’ve never had an issue with your eyes? Be on the lookout for indicators that your kids might need corrective lenses. Some of the red flags parents often overlook are children who squint, stop getting high marks in schools, and begin to complain of frequent headaches. These are all signs that this is one of those family health tips that you shouldn’t ignore.
Concentrate on Hygiene
By now, everyone realizes that personal and household hygiene is critical to health and well-being. But kids are notoriously bad about washing their hands correctly and brushing their teeth, let alone keeping their rooms neat and tidy.
If you have kiddos in your household, the best thing you can do is teach them how to properly clean, disinfect, and sanitize the spaces they share with others. Not only will this be exceptional learning material for them today, but it will also help them down the road. Eventually, most children will move out of their parents’ homes and live on their own or with others. The more they know about the right ways to stay organized and keep a pristine home, the better.
True, you may not be a star cleaner yourself. In that case, you can make improvements a family project. Schedule time for everyone to do a little weekly cleaning on Saturday or Sunday. Assign rotating cleaning schedules for the bathroom and kitchen. And perform deeper cleans every month to ensure that dust, debris, and other pollutants don’t build up. Eventually being clean will be second nature.
Put a Premium on Mental Wellness
Staying fit and healthy isn’t just about taking care of your body and getting regular vaccines and examinations. It’s also about caring for your mental health.
Unfortunately, mental health has been considered a taboo subject. You might find it tough to talk about feelings or set up an appointment for anxiety counseling. However, many people regard finding a good therapist as one of the best family health tips they can give to others.
While you might not want to visit a counselor yourself, be open-minded to the needs of the others under your roof. Kids can get depressed and stressed out, especially in a world that includes social media and seems to run 24/7. And adults can find themselves facing overwhelming emotions that they aren’t sure how to deal with. Therapists are trained to help their clients move to a healthier headspace. So be flexible if your partner or child opens up about wanting to see a counselor.
Address Chronic Conditions
Do you or does someone else in your household have a chronic condition? Never allow chronic issues to go unchecked for very long. For instance, if your partner has a lingering cough that won’t go away, urge him or her to get it checked out. It might be a symptom of something treatable, or could be an indicator of a larger problem that you’ll want to know about right away.
From diabetic foot care to dealing with the effects of gluten intolerance, you have a responsibility to take chronic problems seriously. Your loved ones’ future or comfort could ride on a simple visit to the doctor.
As far as family health tips go, this is a no-brainer: Stop smoking. The majority of people who pick up smoking are either trying to quit or wish they’d never started smoking in the first place. If you’re among the long list of nicotine users, talk to a medical expert about quitting.
Why should you stop smoking, especially if your kids complain about it and say they’ll never pick up the habit? Unfortunately, kids whose parents smoke are at a greater risk of eventually trying cigarettes, cigars, or other forms of tobacco or nicotine. Plus, they may start vaping.
Yes, smoking cessation can be hard. It can also be tremendously freeing. Look into the many types of “quit smoking” programs or strategies on the market and see if there’s one that will work for you. Even if you’ve tried before, remind yourself that this could be the time that it sticks.
Keep a List of Urgent Care Facilities
What happens when a medical emergency occurs? Would you know where to go if you didn’t feel that you needed to call 911 instead? Plenty of people draw a blank when faced with emergency problems that don’t require a trip to the hospital, but definitely require quick attention.
Instead of being in the dark, make and post the name and number of at least one urgent family care center in your area someplace where everyone in your household can see it. You might also want to suggest that your loved ones put it into their phones as a contact. That way, if the time comes that you, your spouse, or your kids need to see a medical professional pronto, you’ll have the information.
Although this list of family health tips has been long, it’s anything but exhaustive. However, it’s a great place to begin making certain that the people who mean the most to you are as secure and protected from a health perspective as they can be.