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The Top 6 Ways to Keep Your Family Healthy

Updated: May 9, 2018

“ A 2010 study found that people who consume one or two ­sugar-sweetened ­beverages per day are 26 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink fewer than one per month.”

It seems like we hear something different every day about what is and isn't good for us. Once you have a family, maintaining health becomes even more important because it's not just about your individual health anymore. Part of adult lifelong learning is learning how to maintain your health, wellness, and overall happiness. Which is why we have compiled 8 scientifically proven methods to improve the health of everyone in your home.

1. eat and shop for whole foods

No matter what crazy new study says, eating whole, unprocessed foods has always been shown to be good for our health. What are whole foods? It's food that is not processed, usually not in a wrapper. Fruit, vegetables, organic grass fed and unprocessed meat (sliced sandwich meat, hotdogs, salami, boloney, and pepperoni are highly processed). Stick to the basics, everyone knows they are supposed to eat more fruit and veggies. When possible, try to buy organic or support your local farmer's market.

2. be active

Last November, scientists at the National Cancer Institute and other institutions analyzed data from more than 650,000 people and found that those who exercised moderately at least 2.5 hours a week lived nearly three and a half years longer than those who never worked out. Interestingly, weight didn’t factor in: ­Slender but sedentary people died three years younger than obese folks who made time for physical activity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that adults ages 18 to 64 engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, per week, along with two sessions of muscle-strengthening exercises, such as Pilates or weight lifting.

3. read labels

There are countless preservatives that are listed on the FDA's site as carcinogenic (cancer causing substance). Pay attention to the labels on what you buy. Less ingredients is better, and whole food ingredients is better. The more scientific ingredients you need a chemistry degree to decipher the worse that food product is for you and your family. Consider signing up for an adult education family nutrition course to learn more.

4. buy more house plants

The inside of your home is often more polluted than the outside, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That’s because we generate toxic fumes when we cook and clean. But researchers at NASA and other institutions have shown that certain houseplants effectively reduce home levels of pollutants—even cancer-causing ones such as formaldehyde and benzene. Two great choices, they found, were gerbera daisies and ficuses.

5. host a weekly family game night

Keep your family close by hosting a weekly game night. Make some of your favorite healthy snacks, and pull out your favorite games (cards, board games, trivia, charades, you name it)! That way you can enjoy some family time and some great laughs.

6. say no to sports drinks

That is, unless you’re an endurance athlete. Swiss researchers reviewed thousands of studies that have been published on sports drinks and concluded these beverages boost performance only for ­people exercising intensely for more than 70 minutes straight. For the rest of us, the drinks could have drawbacks: A 2010 study found that people who consume one or two ­sugar-sweetened ­beverages per day are 26 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who drink fewer than one per month. Plus, a 2012 study ­reported that these drinks can erode tooth enamel because of their high acidity.

Learn more about healthy living in one of our family courses.


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