Six-Part Health Series (Part 5): 10 Things You Can Do for Your *Family’s* Health in 2020

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In this age where most parents have to work long hours to make ends meet, and have to live paycheck to paycheck, raising a family isn’t easy. With this in mind, here are a few simple things you can do to help ensure your family’s health in 2020. 

1. Make Sure Your Family Washes Their Hands!

Washing your hands is the most basic thing you can do to keep unwanted germs from entering your system and making you sick. Skip the harsh antibacterials 24/7; save the antibacterials for work. Simple hand soap will do the trick. 

2. Be Sure Your Family Eats Healthier Foods More Regularly.

Fast food is convenient and tastes great. However, it is not a replacement for a nutritional meal. Get more of the fresh fruits and vegetables on your family’s plates and cut back on the processed foods. Your stomach will thank you. 

3. See That Your Whole Family Gets Yearly Checkups.

Even if nothing is wrong, yearly check-ups are essential for all members of the family. Many illnesses can be thwarted before they begin during a yearly checkup. 

4. Schedule Playtime.

Exercise is essential for cardio health. Increase the time you spend chasing the kids around. It will help your heart!

5. Treat Your Family to *Occasional* Snack Foods.

Deprivation only makes the want of the denied items stronger. Allow junk or snack foods occasionally. Everyone deserves a well-balanced treat!

6. Make Sure Everyone Gets Yearly Flu Vaccines.

Controversial, yes. However, vaccines can help prevent many diseases from entering your immune system. From measles to flu and chickenpox, these injections protect us. 

7. Stay at Home When You’re Sick.

It’s a no-brainer, but difficult to follow through. Stay at home when you are sick. Passing it on to another family isn’t a good option. Losing money and time at work hurts, but your work suffers as much as you do. 

8. Take Time Off Together.

Take the time to just be a family, whether it be vacation time, a weekend outing, or a holiday adventure. Just be with each other. It will increase your happiness and decrease stress. 

9. Increase Outside Activities.

Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. Increasing the amount of outside playtime increases vitamin D in your system. This can lead to stronger bones, not to mention better mud pies. 

10. Get More Sleep and Stay on a Regular Sleep Schedule.

Balance is the key. Your body rejuvenates itself while you sleep. Lack of sleep can cause major issues for both kids and adults. Hit the pillow early and wake up prepared for your day. 

You may already be doing some of these tasks at home. Incorporating others will help ensure your 2020 goes smoothly. Health is important to maintain for both you and your family. Follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog for more ways you can have a better 2020. 

Give Your Child the Gift of Health: 3 Good Health Habits To Teach Your Children From Day One

A pre-school age girl helps her dad pick out veggies in the produce section at the grocery store. He is holding her next to the produce and she is picking out eggplant.

As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Your child will carry the lessons that you teach them with you for the rest of their lives. These lessons will probably (and should, definitely) include healthy habits to ensure that your child lives a safe and happy life. Here are three good habits to instill in your child while they are young and some tips for making sure these healthy activities become habits that become a part of your children for the rest of their lives.

1. Teach Your Kids Good Hygiene

Depending on your child’s age, you are probably somewhere in between being fully responsible for their hygiene and being mostly removed from their cleanliness habits. While most adults understand the things that they need to do on a regular basis to maintain good hygiene, these habits are normally not instinctual, and they need to be taught. Teach your children the importance of brushing their teeth, washing their face, bathing regularly, and most importantly, bathing thoroughly. Teach them how to avoid using strong perfumes and other strong scents that may be offensive to others, especially in close quarters, such as riding on buses, trains, and planes, and sitting in the classroom.

Teach your children these life lessons about hygiene while they are still young, and you are still responsible for your their hygiene. As they grow older, make sure to continue to check in with them, verifying that they have maintained the habits that you taught them early on about maintaining good hygiene. Before you tuck them in at night, ask them if they’ve washed up and brushed their teeth. If they haven’t, it might be helpful to brush your teeth along with them until they get into the habit and becomes instinctual.

2. Teach Your Kids to Exercise Regularly

Part of being healthy is being active. Get your child interested in sports, or any activity that helps them become physically active on a regular basis. It is a good idea to show them that exercising can be fun, while they are young. As they grow older, they may lose interest in sports. If this is the case with your child, encourage them to go for a walk or find another activity that will get their heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. Make it a natural routine, so it won’t feel like an obligation, and exercise won’t feel like a chore, or an interruption in their daily routine later on, when they become adults.

3. Teach Your Kids to Eat Right

Establishing good eating habits early on, is an important part of maintaining your child’s health. While many kids don’t like to eat certain vegetables, such as broccoli or brusell sprouts for example, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to eat any vegetables. Sometimes you can mix certain vegetables together, some they like, others they don’t like, to make eating vegetables more appealing to them during dinner. Make sure that your child understands the importance of fruits and vegetables and the difference between a healthy snack and a “treat,” something they get just once in a while.

It’s easier to form healthy habits than it is to undo unhealthy habits, so getting your child off to the right start in their journey to health is vital to maintaining their health later on.

For more information on maintaining good health by eating fruits and vegetables, enroll in the course entitled, “How to Prevent Disease in Your Body (By Eating Fruit and Vegetables!)” offered by Avidity Medical Design Academy.

For more informative articles on healthcare, be sure to follow the Avidity Medical Design blog.

Six-Part Health Series (Part 4): 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your *Spiritual* Health in 2020

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Your spiritual health is connected to your physical, mental, and social health. It is about having a connection with yourself, others, nature, and God (if you are religious). The results of spiritual health help people to live positive lives with purpose. Negative emotions like anxiety and sadness are reduced. It is important to work on improving your spiritual health in 2020 because it is essential to total body health, and you owe it to yourself to experience its positive effects as soon as possible. 

10 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Spiritual Health in 2020

1. Write.

Practice free-writing or introspective journaling to find out exactly who you are and what you value. Make a list of things that make you happy or people who are important to you. Focus on the positive. Instead of thinking about past mistakes or focusing on negative emotions, list the things you have learned from those mistakes and activities that help you to overcome negativity. It is easy to get stuck in our own heads, and a pen and paper is a perfect way to get it out and experience some self-realization. 

2. Meditate.

Focusing on the present while removing the past and future is an exercise in freedom from worry and expectation. Mindfulness gives your mind a break from responsibilities and limitations. It allows you to focus on the most important thing a person can experience – inhaling and exhaling. Your mind can relax when it knows it is accomplishing its primary purpose of maintaining life. Once a person has meditated, he or she is more able to identify and appreciate spirituality. 

3. Do Yoga.

Any sort of exercise can lead to improved spirituality because of stress reduction, but yoga is particularly effective because of the focus on the self. It is not something you do with headphones or other distractions. Instead, it is a complete focus on the connection you have with your own body. 

4. Volunteer.

Helping others is a focused pathway to spirituality because it prioritizes community connections and a willingness to work for others without expectation of anything in return. The positive notion of this feels good because it elevates your capabilities beyond caring for only yourself and the people you love.  

5. Travel.

Seeing and interacting with people around the world makes one realize how each person on the Earth is important and how wonderful our diversity is. It makes the world a little smaller and less overwhelming. Depending on your travels, it is also possible to develop deep caring for people in less-fortunate areas of the world. You’ll find yourself connected to everyone in a collective humanity that makes you feel part of a greater whole. 

6. Socialize.

Spend time with your friends and family or people who make you feel happy. Don’t neglect your social activities. You are a part of society, and the benefit is reciprocal. Spending time with your friends reinforces your sense of community connection, which is essential for spiritual health. 

7. Pray.

Prayer is a recognition of your spirituality and a positive way to spread happy thoughts. It is typically religious, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are having trouble with prayer because you aren’t religious, practice self-talk (silent or verbal) about your thankfulness, and send wishes to those who you hope will experience better times. If you are religious, communication with God establishes solidarity in your convictions. 

8. Walk.

Experiencing nature is a very spiritual activity, so going for a walk or a hike is an excellent way to improve your connection with life on this planet. It also gives you time with your own thoughts, which can have a meditative effect. 

9. Unplug.

You don’t have to turn off your Facebook account or literally unplug your television. However, taking a break from these items gives you some peace and quiet. Occasional silence is calming, and it disconnects you from the worries and influence of media platforms. 

10. Make Something.

Lastly, creating something new is a great way to improve spirituality because it reaffirms your capabilities and your worth. You may choose to create a table or a tool, or you may choose to create something artistic like a painting or a composition. Your spirituality will be heightened by the act of creation, and you will bask in its glow. 

The new decade is a perfect impetus for improved spiritual health, and the effects of this health will extend to your mental and physical health. You’ll feel affirmation about your place and purpose in this world, which will reduce negativity and leave you with more happiness. 

If you like what you’ve been reading, visit Avidity Medical Design’s blog and get more helpful tips on improving your health.

Six-Part Health Series (Part 3): 10 Things You Can Do For Better *Emotional* Health in 2020

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Reduce stress and reconnect to your body with meditation.

Emotional health impacts your physical health and your overall happiness, yet it is a difficult thing to improve without purpose. The steps to better emotional health will help to bring you calmness and inner peace. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever have a bad day, but it means you will be able to better cope with bad days and fully enjoy the good things in life. 

10 Things You Can Do For Better Emotional Health in 2020

1. Sleep Well.

When you aren’t sleeping well, you may become irritated or angry more easily. It also decreases your ability to handle stress. This decrease in coping ability leads to poor emotional health. Over time, it can also impact physical health. 

2. Eat Right.

There is evidence that concludes that the food you eat can impact your emotional health. Getting proper nutrients makes you feel good, and this improves mood. Conversely, meals high in unhealthy fats or toxins can make you feel sluggish and depressed. 

3. Exercise Regularly.

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These chemicals reduce anxiety and improve mood functions. They also increase self-esteem. Regular exercise is also good for your physical health and body image. 

4. Meditate Consistently.

Any exercise in mindfulness is a benefit to emotional health because it gets us out of our heads and back to a healthy emotional center. If formal meditation is not appealing to you, go for a walk or do some gardening. Anything that keeps the body busy so that the brain can have a break is a positive action. 

5. Connect with Friends or Family.

In today’s consumer-driven world, we often are tricked into thinking it is our belongings that give us happiness. This is not true, and it is other people and our connections to them that drive happiness. If you are feeling isolated, reconnect with friends or family to regain your sense of community and support. 

6. Learn to Say No.

While some people need to reconnect for emotional health, others need to disconnect. It is okay to say no when asked for help. If you are stretched too thin because you are helping others, learn to say no. You need to practice self-care for a little while and then get back into help mode. 

7. Don’t Judge.

Judging others is an unhealthy activity for your emotional health and doesn’t produce any good results. You can’t possibly put yourself into someone else’s shoes, and most of the time, their actions aren’t of any consequence to you. Instead of judging, listen and offer help when you can. 

8. Appreciate the Here and Now.

Many of us are constantly trying to improve ourselves. We want to be thinner, richer, and more popular. In reality, what you’ve got right now is underappreciated. You have a life, and you can improve it. Appreciate the present and the future, and your emotions will migrate to a more positive place. 

9. Volunteer to Improve Your Emotional Health.

Helping others improves your emotional health because it feels good and you are no longer focused on your own stress. Volunteering is a pro-social way to help others that builds connections and yields happy results. 

10. Take Time for Yourself.

Taking time for yourself does not mean wasting time watching television. It means investing your time in a hobby or event that will make you feel like you again. If this means a spa day, great. If it means finishing a project, even better. Taking time for yourself means prioritizing yourself, so you don’t feel like you’ve been run over by life. 

These 10 steps are pretty straightforward, and if you invest some time on each of them, you are surely going to improve your emotional health. Not only will you experience less extreme emotions, but you’ll be a happier person with a renewed sense of calm. 

For more help with improving your emotional help, check out Avidity Medical Design Academy’s course entitled, “How to Prevent Medical Conditions Caused By TOXIC People in Your Life (and Be Healthier!)

Six-Part Health Series (Part 2): 10 Ways to Protect Your *Mental* Health in 2020

It is easy for us to concentrate on our physical health when we see problems. If we are starting to gain more weight, we can watch what we eat more carefully. If we have the flu, we can see our doctor and help to curb some of the symptoms. It is a lot harder for us to recognize when our mental health is suffering. However, our mental health is just as important, and can actually impact our physical health. 

Our mental health affects our daily lives by influencing how we feel, think, and even how we behave. So often, we think that mental health only refers to a person that is experiencing a mental illness. In actuality, we all need to concentrate on our mental health to protect the positive characteristics that help us to thrive in today’s world.  

Here are 10 ways that you can start to protect your mental health in 2020:

1. Find a Therapist

When we get a physical illness, we see our doctor. Adding a behavioral health expert to your team can help you to maximize your mental health and find ways that work for you to deal with stress in daily living.

2. Set Boundaries

Learning to say “No” is an important skill for your mental well being. Decide what is most important to you and use that knowledge to prioritize requests from others. Determine what to delegate or negotiate when you are asked to commit your time and energy to something that isn’t important to you.

3. Spend Time in Nature

Connecting with nature helps our bodies to relax and appreciate the world around us. So, find some time to get outside and let your mind and body recharge.

4. Laugh Out Loud

Have you noticed how often kids laugh out loud? Now, think about the last time that you allowed yourself the same outlet. Humor is a great stress reliever, and the physical action of laughing out loud makes the perfect mind and body connection.

5. Give Yourself a Pep Talk

Have you noticed that the voice in your head is a lot more critical to you than you would ever be to a friend of yours? Learning to be more positive in our self-talk is an important skill in mental health. Check out this Ted Talk video on how to improve positive thinking

6. Be Grateful for What is Going Well in Your Life

Taking time to appreciate the positives in our lives is another important skill. At the end of each day, take a moment to list 3 things that you are grateful for today.

7. Connect with Others

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Make time to keep in touch with people who are special to you. A phone call to chat with someone can change your mental outlook.

8. Take a Daily Break

Start a pattern of taking a daily break to recharge. This can be anything from doing meditation to singing out loud in the car or taking some time to read a book. Look for something that will fit into your day and break up the pattern of building stress.

9. Get More Sleep

Making sleep, nutrition, and exercise a priority in your life is another building block to positive mental health. 

10. Try Something New

When you find it hard to motivate yourself to work on your mental health, try to do something completely new for you. Your mind will kick into overdrive by concentrating on learning this new activity. Trying something new can change your daily routine for the better.

The mind and body connection is an important bond for all of us. Taking time to work on protecting your mental health is an important step in your well-being. To learn more about different health subjects, follow the Avidity Medical Design Blog.