Wednesday, May 3, 2017

8 Fun Ways To Celebrate Family Wellness Month

Welcome to May! When most people think about this month, they think of Memorial Day Weekend, swimming, grilling, and everything else commonly associated with the unofficial kick-off to summer. However, there's more to May than meets the eye - it's also National Family Wellness Month.

Family Wellness Month is a month designed to give families the opportunity to focus on developing (and maintaining) a healthy lifestyle. As your local healthcare providers at the Lake of the Ozarks, the team at COMC is here to help you celebrate Family Wellness Month with these simple ideas.

1. Start A Garden
Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a fun way to encourage your children to connect with nature (while helping you save a little bit of cash at the grocery store). By growing your own produce, you'll also be able to avoid the harsh pesticides commonly found on commercially-grown produce. 

2. Hit Up The Parks
When the weather is nice, spending time outside provides a great opportunity for little ones to be active and enjoy breathing in the fresh air. Instead of only returning to your usual haunt, try visiting every park in your city (or even some of the surrounding towns). You might find a new favorite!

3. Drink More Water
If you knew how much sugar you consumed just from beverages alone, you might be shocked. You can limit your sugar intake by exchanging one of your and your child's mealtime beverages for water. Be aware that fruit juice contains extremely high concentrations of sugar, as well - just because your child isn't drinking soda does not necessarily mean that she isn't still consuming large amounts of sugar.

4. Go Hiking
Hiking and walking are excellent example of family-friendly exercise. Central Missouri is home to several state parks with lots of beautiful trails. Why not take the opportunity to get out and explore some of the paths?

5. Exchange Food For Healthier Alternatives
Changing your diet can be a daunting task to say the least. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to do a total overhaul on your diet (although if you're feeling up for the challenge, there's no harm in giving it a shot). Instead, focus on exchanging a few items for healthier alternatives, such as using ground turkey instead of ground beef in your favorite recipes. Natural sweeteners can also provide a healthier alternative to highly processed sugars.

6. Go Easy On The Pasta
Pasta is often a family favorite, but the large amount of carbohydrates in traditional wheat pasta may cause you (and your kids) to pack on the pounds. If pasta is your go-to meal, try exchanging wheat pasta for a healthier alternative, such as brown rice pasta.

7. Get Your Children Involved
It's family wellness, after all - why not ask your children what ideas they have to help the family be healthier as a whole? Encourage them to think outside the box. You might be surprised by what they come up with!

8. Attend Regular Wellness Exams With Your Local Doctor
Visiting your doctor periodically for your wellness checkups is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your family. During your child's wellness exams, your Lake of the Ozarks pediatrician can monitor your child's growth and help ward off any potential issues that may present. 

Happy Family Wellness Month!
On behalf of everyone at our Mid-Missouri health clinics, we hope you take advantage of the opportunities that Family Wellness Month presents. It's never too soon (or too late) to work on instituting a healthier lifestyle - you'll always be glad that you did!

Central Ozarks Medical Center
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