Setting yourself up for success is the best way to ensure a healthy lifestyle. As many things in life do, wellness starts in the home. So this week, we thought we'd discuss some ways to create a healthy home environment for yourself and your family. After a little research, we put together a list of 10 things you can do to inspire health and wellness at home.
1. Promote healthy eating. This might seem like an obvious tip, but there are a couple of things you might not necessarily think of to inspire your family to eat well. First, think about planting an edible garden. You don't have to have a lot of land or yard space to do this. A few simple plants in pots (like tomatoes, cucumbers, and strawberries) can provide a jumpstart to healthy eating. An indoor herb garden is also a good idea. There's something very rewarding about eating something you've planted, grown, and "harvested" yourself.
2. Keep those healthy foods and the tools needed to eat and cook them within easy reach. All those "sometimes foods" should be put away in cabinets or pantries to discourage impulse snacking.
3. Shrink your storage. Refrigerators these days can be downright huge, but do we really need all that space? Having all of that storage space could encourage you to buy a lot of heavily processed foods that keep for a long time. Instead of tempting yourself to stock up on less-than-nourishing items, shop more frequently and stock a more modest fridge with fresher foods that might not keep as well.
4. Create a comfortable area for family dining. Our society has become such an on-the-go culture that it's not all that common for many families to sit down and have a meal together. The dining room, however, is a great place to regroup and talk about the events of the day or express what's on your mind. Eating together at the table also promotes those healthy eating habits you're trying to instill. Make sure the dining room table is clear of anything that doesn't belong and set it with linens and real dishes.
5. Develop good flow for natural light and air throughout the home. Lots of windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and even breezeways are all great ways to promote indoor-outdoor flow.
6. Get outdoors. Add areas for fun activities in the back yard. Add a pool, a basketball court, a cornhole set, a jungle gym or swing set, a sandbox...the list is endless!
7. If you don't have much outdoor space, create a workout area inside that inspires activity. Stock it with all the equipment you need for your favorite workouts. Add a stereo or television (for those long treadmill walks or runs). Paint it a soothing color and let in lots of light.
8. Inspire peace in the bedroom. The body is healthiest when it sleeps and wakes according to circadian rhythm. Light is one of the biggest influences on circadian rhythms. Make sure bedrooms are dark, quiet, and cool at night and bright and sunny in the mornings. As tempting as it is to buy blackout curtains and ignore the morning sun, you'll feel much better if you wake up to natural light. In addition, keep bedrooms free of clutter and distractions like televisions.
9. Speaking of televisions, you can discourage idle TV watching by placing them in specified areas. If you must have more than one TV, put them somewhere you'll have to go with the specific purpose of watching your favorite show or movie.
10. If you work from home, consider investing in a higher desk, where you can stand instead of sitting all day. In an office, it's likely that you'd be up and down all day, darting from office to office, chatting with coworkers, going to the printer or watercooler... When you're at home, you tend to sit more. Not only does this make for an inactive day, but it can also cause problems with things like bloodflow. Standing at your desk can help with that. Get a higher chair to sit at when you need a rest.
What other tips do you have for creating a healthy, feel-good home environment? Leave us a note in the comments below!