Putting #HerHealthFirst is important and how. You can change your life – and that of your family’s – by changing your mindset. Make these five healthy habits your own and you’ll see how.

  1. Exercise as often as you can

    We all step into a new year with lofty resolutions of hitting the gym every single day and losing X kilos b5 ways to put #HerHealthFirst - exercise as often as you cany the time summer rolls around. Sadly, that never happens. Turn things around by making exercise a habit, one that you prioritise just like all your other work. It could be a gym session, a Zumba class or a yoga retreat, take the time out for yourself and see your body respond in a couple of months. Motivate your family to join you – the husband can be your workout buddy three days a week, your teenager can join you on your jog and the toddler can be part of a yoga session. You’re never too young to start exercising!

  2. Restock your pantry & refrigerator
    The profusion of junk and processed foods in pantries goes onlyRestock your pantry & refrigerator way: into your body. Making healthy choices is fine, but begin by dumping all the “bad” foods from your cupboards and cabinets. Stock the pantry with legumes, lentils, brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and other foods that make cooking up nutritious meals easy. Trash instant noodles, pizzas, sandwich spreads, chocolate syrups et al. In your fridge, make space for fruits, vegetables, lean meats, yogurt, tofu and cheese. Keep in mind that healthy is far from boring; the onus is on you to show your family this. So don that chef’s hat and get started.
  3. Eat meals together

    The pressures of modern living have made even mealtimes a stressful affair. Hardly any family manages to have theirEat meals together lunch together. So why don’t you ensure that dinner is a sit-down affair to be had with the family? Chuck all the distractions – TV, movies, laptops and smartphones. Easier said than done, but eating surely is a healthy habit to own. Research from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab has shown that we consume additional calories when distracted as we are less likely to notice the body’s signals that you’re full. Studies have also shown that speed eating makes you prone to weight gain.

  4. Plan a family activity every weekend

     Most of us crib that our children don’t get enough exercise but give it outdoor activity some thought. Do they really have any opportunity amidst school, homework, tuition and hobby classes? Show them the fun that physical activity can bring in its wake by planning a family “activity” every weekend. But no movies, malls or board games. How about a long walk together? A Zumba class? A hike, if you live in a mountainous region? A picnic in a forested area? Or a weekend football game and the cook-off with like-minded family and friends? Apart from increased bonding, you’ll also enjoy the benefits of better health.

  5. Get your sleep 

    You may be burning the midnight oil in an effort to have it all” but that’s not the right approach. Too little shut-eye cGet your sleepan affect your mental and physical health, and put you on the road to illness and ailments. Ample studies have found a link between insufficient sleep and health problems like heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. Getting your recommended hours of sleep can improve brain function, control your weight, better your sex life and improve your mood. Be the change you want to see. Begin by bidding good night to all digital devices an hour before bedtime and choose to read in bed instead. Making it seem like an important part of your day will encourage your family – especially the children – to follow suit.

Ensure that the whole process of adopting a healthy lifestyle is fun – for you and the family. Don’t focus on fitness to the exclusion of family choices and always make the time for treats. Be healthy, be happy!

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Written by Roshini Gilbert

Roshini Gilbert

After a diligent workout plan helped her lose 30kg of post-pregnancy weight, chartered accountant Roshini Gilbert was inspired enough to go from tallying numbers to training others. A freelance personal trainer today, Roshini has been certified by the American Council on Exercises (ACE) for functional fitness and specialises in post-natal weight loss, exercises for low back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. She also has REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management. In HealthifyMe, Roshini has found a collaborator with a common cause – making people fit to live life to the fullest. Her assessment of how fit you are is based on three broad guidelines — stamina, body age (a person who looks way older than his age can’t be deemed healthy) and lifestyle (beware, those with bad eating habits and sedentary behaviour). Prepare yourself mentally first and then your body will follow, she says, of the opinion that if you want to change something about yourself then you need to challenge yourself to do it. Are you up for it?

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