Mornings can be stressful, but they don’t have to be. In fact, with a little planning and organization you can turn your morning routine into a healthy routine.
It Starts with a Good Night’s Sleep
A good day always starts out better if you’ve had a solid night’s sleep. Sleep helps with memory and problem-solving skills, and the ability to get along with others. For your kids, it will help them to pay better attention in school and be ready for more activity on the playground. (Sleep has even been shown to have an effect on your children’s IQ’s.)
Some of us need more sleep than others, and the number of hours that is considered “enough” varies with age. Most adults for example, need at least 7 hours of sleep each night to wake up refreshed and ready for the day.
Here is a rule of thumb for the rest of the family:
- Infants – about 15 hours
- Toddlers – about 12 hours
- Elementary and middle schoolers – at least 10 hours
- Older teens – at least 8 hours
Ease Morning Stress – One Quick “Magic” Step
Layout your and your kids’ clothes each night – This is an easy way to reduce stress in the morning (and less stress leads to better health). Take a few minutes in the evening, (with the help of your kids of course) to select everything your kids—and you—will wear the following day. This will allow for a more relaxed morning routine.
Get Dressed Before You Eat…and Enjoy Breakfast More
You’ll be amazed at what a stress reliever this can be! Unless someone in your family is a really messy eater, everyone should be dressed and ready to go, before the family eats breakfast – a nutritious meal, hopefully, again to reduce stress. (And make sure you set a time for everyone to be at the table in the morning.) That way you can all enjoy a family breakfast together, instead of everyone inhaling their food and then having to the rush to get ready.
Keep Breakfast Simple and Plan Ahead
Make breakfast easy for everyone. Your first meal of the day is crucial for providing you, and your children — with the nutritious fuel to get them through the day. Plus, a good breakfast is important in maintaining a healthy weight. Here are some ideas from RealSimple.com to help make providing a healthy breakfast easy on you:
- Stick with quick, nutritious meals, like oatmeal with fresh fruit; bagels and cream cheese with cucumbers and tomatoes; and parfaits with yogurt, fruit and granola.
- If you bake, make extra bread or scones and freeze them for the mornings. Pop them in the oven or microwave to defrost while you get ready and start waking up the kids.
- Frozen fruit can be expensive, but it’s cheaper, and easy, to buy fresh fruit – try chopping it up and freezing the fruit to make quick, delicious and nutritious smoothies.
- Homemade pancake batter will keep for a few days in the fridge, so you can make it ahead of time and use it throughout the week.
Get in a Little Workout Before the Kids Get Up
Recent research has shown that exercising first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast, can actually help you keep weight off better. Here is how the study was done: Group Aate breakfast, and then exercised, drinking sports drinks throughout their workouts. Group B worked out (and this is important) before eating breakfast, and only drank water. Both groups ate the same number of total calories and did the same workout. However, Group B – who ate afterexercise kept more weight off.
Equally important, a little exercise in the morning can actually supply you with more energy, and put you in a better mood for the rest of the day.
Taken Altogether…A Healthier Lifestyle for Your Family
Remember: this is all meant to make the mornings as easy on all of you as possible. And, the ultimate outcome can be less stressful, productive and healthier lives for you and your family.
With just a little bit of planning you can turn stressful mornings into a relaxed, healthy routine!
Coming Soon to MyPVHC.com…Your Patient Portal
At PVHC we are busy making changes that will make your healthcare less stressful too. One of the most exciting things we are working on for you is a new “patient portal.” This new feature, coming soon to www.MyPVHC.com will allow you to make appointments online, check on family lab reports, email your doctor, and even pay your bill online. All designed to make life, and your health, a less stressful activity! So, stay tuned, we hope to have it ready for you within the next few months. Contact us for more information.