A strong family unit can be strong in many ways, but ensuring all family members are healthy can be the beginning of a strong family that will last for years. While the term "healthy" can mean many different things, from mental health to physical health, it is recommended that you and your family get plenty of physical exercise, healthy meals, and good quality sleep.
Being active together is crucial in strengthening your family’s wellbeing. Physical activity improves physical health, but it also improves mental health. The more time families spend away from a screen, the more engaged they are to provide the necessary support and attention to create healthy relationships. Try doing things together, such as riding bikes, going on a walk around the neighborhood, or having a family dance party to get the blood flowing and encourage healthy habits.
One of the best ways to be healthy is by creating good mealtime practices. Meals are a time for families to bond and communicate. Sitting down for a family meal has been proven to improve children's behavioral and emotional health in families that have them. Eating at home increases the quality of interactions between family members. We can also practice healthy eating by cooking healthy dinners full of fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.
Families should also implement healthy sleep routines. Poor quality sleep affects mood, performance, and energy levels. Try to get your family on a healthy sleep schedule and create a routine that incorporates calming activities without using technology, such as reading a book or relaxing before going to bed at the same time every night. Set up bedrooms that promote quality sleep with dark rooms, reduced noise distractions, and proper bedding with a good mattress.
Being busy can quickly lead to becoming sedentary. Practicing poor eating habits and not making time for physical activity can lead to poor health for the entire family. Prioritizing cultivating healthy habits can improve the overall wellness of the entire family. For resources, use your local MCCS Health Promotion Office to help develop a personalized healthy family plan that works for you.
As a parent, you can help shape your child’s attitudes and behaviors regarding physical activity. There are so many ways to squeeze in activity at different times of the day.
Military families face unique challenges from relocation to inconsistent medical care due to PCS, and lack of community which can all impact your child’s weight. Marine Corps Community Services offers programs at military installations to help parents combat the emotional, social, and physical impacts of military life from fitness and sports to recreational programs and camps.
Practicing mindfulness can help you relax, lower your blood pressure and can help you become more focused, alert, and tuned in to your body. Mindfulness training can enhance your ability to perform at your best in garrison, during training, and in real-world operations.