Phase 1: Healthy Parents
Raising kids can be exhausting but it is important not to lose sight of your own health and wellness. Exercise and good eating should be a top priority for yourself and not just your children. Your kids will benefit too –- you will be more energetic and will be a good role model.
Use these simple guidelines and tips to help you look and feel great.
- Eat well. Increase the number of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and reduce the amount of fats and sugars. Drink water to improve digestion and the health of your system.
- Be conscious of portion size. As long as you eat moderately and indulge occasionally, there is room for nearly all foods in your diet.
- Try to balance food intake with your activity level. To maintain your weight you should not eat more calories than you will burn.
- Carry a healthy snack. Keep a piece of fruit or cut vegetables to curb your hunger. If you wait until you are starving to eat, you will be more inclined to reach for something unhealthy and high in fat.
- Talk with your doctor if you have a chronic medical condition or an increased risk of a medical condition.
- A mix of cardiovascular exercise (jogging, biking, swimming, walking) and strength training (lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups) is best.
- Include a brief (5-10 minute) warm-up and cool-down period during every exercise session.
- Working out during your pregnancy will make it easier to lose weight after the birth of your baby.
- Start slowly and don’t expect immediate results. Losing weight takes time; set realistic goals.
- Establish a routine that you can fit into your lifestyle. You will see better results with a little regular exercise, than a lot of occasional exercise.
- Aim for at least 3 workouts a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each time.
- Never exercise to the point of exhaustion or ignore pain.
- Regular exercise can strengthen muscle, increase flexibility, increase energy, control weight and build strong bones.
- Exercise relieves stress and improves your energy. Studies have repeatedly shown that exercising improves blood flow, lowers blood pressure, muscle tension and raises endorphins to promote mental well being.
- Take advantage of your baby’s naptime or a friend’s offer to baby-sit.
- Go for a walk or a run with baby in the stroller. Walking is effective exercise and a great way to include your baby. Investing in a good stroller makes it easier to include your baby in a walking or running schedule.
- As your child gets older, involve yourself in your child’s play and engage in more physical activity.
- Sign up for a fitness class or take a walk with other moms. You will build social relations while toning your body.