When we were small children, our parents gave their utmost care and sacrificed a lot to improve our lives. They educated us, played a vital role in shaping our personalities and value system, and did their best to keep us healthy and fit. As they age, our responsibility is to ensure that our parent’s health condition is gooa and need to help them live a happy good life with no medical complications.
As parents get older, they tend to slack off and care less about their health routine. It is undoubtedly a factor that makes more people fall sick as they age in most situations. They feel lazy to do exercises regularly or may not consider it essential to follow a healthy diet rich in proteins and other nutrients. So, you must make sure that they are not slacking off and execute creative yet effective ways to boost parents’ health.
As adults get older, certain nutrients in the body lower. So, we must ensure that our parents follow a strict diet with foods rich in such nutrients. Also, the most necessary nutrients and minerals for parents are calcium, sodium, potassium, vitamins like Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, etc. In addition, it would help if you also kept them engaged and happy to help them have good mental health. There are specific methods and ways to boost your parent’s health, which can improve your parent’s life as they get older. Implement such techniques to provide them with a happy retired life and pay them back for everything they have done for you to make your life good.
Motivation is the Key
It can be hard to motivate ourselves to stay healthy, follow a healthy diet and exercise well to keep us fit. So many factors like fast food, a sedentary and busy lifestyle, the expensive nature of nutrient-rich food items, laziness, etc., can all pave the way for us to not care about our health and demotivate us from taking care of it. But we must find time and ways to take care of our health and our parents. Unfortunately, for the elderly, sometimes it becomes a lack of interest in life, leading to a situation wherein they stop prioritising themselves.
How does Motivation Works?
The motivation to get healthy is proven to work differently in the two primary genders. Some studies demonstrate that the number of women performing exercises, following a healthy diet and improving their quality of life was more than that of men. Such research noted that women were mainly motivated to do so because they cared more about their appearance than men. For this reason, the number of women who underwent weight loss by following a strict health routine was much larger than that of men.
These studies also noted that men were motivated to perform exercises and follow a healthy diet when they felt competitive. Therefore, engaging men in exercise competitions or marathon-like events can motivate them to get healthier and fitter. So, to inspire your mother to get healthy, you can encourage her to do exercises and follow a healthy diet by convincing her how such routines can improve her experience and make her fit and healthy. Likewise, you can encourage your father to exercise and follow a healthy diet by making it seem like you are in a healthy competition to look fitter and be healthier with him. However, these findings may not be accurate in everyone’s case as we are different.
Sometimes parents do not respond positively to such motivations. Therefore, if you are looking to motivate them, try to understand the factor that makes them ignore themselves. You have to first communicate with them to try and understand what motivates them the best to bring healthy lifestyle changes. Then you can move in that angle to convince them to adopt a healthier routine.
7 Ways To Boost Your Parent’s Health
If you want your father and mother to follow a healthy diet, you must develop unique ways to boost your parent’s health that they cannot say no to. The following seven methods are ones that you can adopt or modify to plan your parent’s health routine to improve their lifestyle and help them stay fit and healthy.
Improve Your Parent’s Diet
As your parents get older, they need more nutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. So to improve their presence in your parent’s bodies, you have to modify your parent’s diet accordingly by adding foods rich in compounds like calcium, sodium, potassium, vitamins like Vitamin D and Vitamin B12, fibre omega-3 fatty acids, etc.
Calcium is one of the most important minerals your parent’s bodies require. As they get older, their bones lose strength, and the mineral plays a significant role in maintaining bone strength. For example, vitamin D can maintain bone density and reduce the risk of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diseases, etc. Likewise, vitamin B12 is essential for your parents as it can create red blood cells and DNA and keep their nerve function healthy.
Similarly, all of the above mentioned essential compounds are required to improve your parent’s health in one way or another. Certain food items that are rich in these compounds are:
- Fruits and vegetables (You can include different kinds, especially those rich in fibres and other nutrients.)
- Beans and pulses
- Seafood, poultry, eggs and lean meats
- Nuts and seeds
- Brown rice
- Oats and similar whole grains
- Whole-wheat bread
- Low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk and cheese
- Rice milk or soy milk with calcium and vitamin D
Make sure to add all or most of the above food items to their diet accordingly in the right amounts to prevent depletion in any of the essential nutrients, minerals and other compounds. Some studies have proved that including the above food items and planning a good diet is one of the best ways to improve your parent’s health.
Take Your Parents For Regular Health Checkups
Immunity declines as your parents get older, making them more vulnerable to several medical complications. Not just immunity but the efficiency of the body to repair and manage maintenance will slow down as your parents get older. One cannot avoid these things, but you can do the needful to ensure that they can go for regular checkups and monitor basic health parameters like their blood sugar levels and blood pressure, etc. Parents, especially those over 50, need to go for routine health checkups at least once a year.
You must take them for regular checkups even if they look healthy and fit. Regular health checkups are not just important for those with medical conditions but also for healthy people. Regular checkups can help you keep tabs on your parent’s health conditions and do the necessary to avoid any potential health risks, and implement ways to boost your parent’s health. The common diseases that your parents can get prone to as they get older are diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases, cancer, COPD, etc.
The regular health checkup that you must follow for your parents must include the following:
- ECG test (for the heart)
- Urine test
- Kidney checkup
- Fasting blood sugar checkup
- Blood pressure test
- CBC (Complete Blood Count) Test
- Anaemia Test
- Thyroid checkup
- Lipid checkup to measure good and bad cholesterol
Conduct Activities to Improve Their Mental Health
Being mentally fit and healthy is as important as being physically fit and healthy. So when you chart several ways to improve your parent’s health, it must also include methods to improve their mental health that can help them stay happy. For example, as they get older, your parents may feel lonelier. So, conduct activities or organise dinners and lunches for them to socialise with friends and family.
It would help if you made them feel involved in several decision-making processes like investments, house painting etc. Also, sometimes planning recreational activities like playing a card game or scrabble can help them stay active and competitive. Finally, like in children, ensure they do not watch TV all the time. The idiot box occupies time but can dull one’s ability to think and relate to the outside. Eventually, it has a dumbing-down effect.
The motivation to exercise comes from an act of feeling important to the children. Even if they refuse to perform exercises or follow the healthy diet you set for them, make them feel important to you and don’t force them to do it. You can make irresistible comments or requests by saying how much you love them and want them around for a long time, so you request them to follow a healthy routine.
You can also communicate with them often, maybe by bringing up topics that can help them reminisce about their younger selves. It might help them feel happier if they get a chance to talk or even brag about the things they did when they were younger. If they were involved in a particular sport in school or college, you could play them as a family. It will help them do some exercise and help improve your parent’s mental health by making them feel happy.
Approaching them this way makes them happier and will motivate your parents to lead healthier lives. So there are even studies that prove that caring for their mental health by including activities that can make them happy is a critical way to improve your parent’s health.
Plan an Event or Sign Them Up for One
Signing your parents up for a fitness event or conducting one on your own for your family can motivate them to exercise and eat healthier, especially if they possess a competitive side. Such events can be marathons like 5k running or walking, etc. If you are signing them up for such events, make sure that you also sign up so it will become a fun, healthy event that you can participate in as a family.
However, when you sign them up for such marathons, make sure that they are a couple of months away to get enough time to prepare themselves for the same. You can use the event as an excuse to make your parents work out and to make them switch to a healthier weekly menu. As mentioned above, make sure that you also partake in them to lead to a healthy competition which is always a good motivation to work harder.
Provide Support and Shower them With Encouragement
Once your parents start following a healthy routine, show your support and do not forget to encourage them. Encouragement is key to motivating anyone to improve in anything. Without enough encouragement, people tend to doubt themselves and may believe that what they are doing is useless or wrong.
Buy Them a Fitness Tracker
You can get your parent’s fitness trackers and similar devices which is another way to encourage them to exercise or follow a healthier lifestyle. For example, fitness trackers can read the number of steps your parents walked on a day, measure their heart rate, measure the number of calories burnt, and show how much more they should exercise to achieve good health. These trackers can also help modulate the frequency of work-outs, ensuring one does not burn themselves out completely.
Fitness trackers are similar to smartphones as some of them let you connect with your friends and family. So, if you live away from your parents, you can connect with them through the tracker and still perform exercise routines together. They may also provide your parents with health tips that they can follow to make their training and diet better, so buying them a health tracker is one of the best ways to boost your parent’s health.
Try Introducing and Involving Them in Health-Based Friend Groups
You can try introducing your parents to fitness groups with members of their age. It will help them find new friendships and participate in fitness activities. Such groups can also provide them with fun experiences which will make them crave more exercise activities and other similar fun adventures.
If such groups go for group cycling, trekking, hiking, etc., it is better as such activities will provide your parents with good experiences while improving their health and fitness. Even studies have proved that such social support will help in motivating older people to follow a healthy routine, especially in groups. Such healthy friendships thus can make your parents both mentally and physically fitter making this an excellent way to boost your parent’s health.
Sometimes parents are not digitally savvy. In that case, teach them to navigate the wealth of information available online. For example, search engines, social media and health-based apps can help them talk to doctors, nutritionists and coaches virtually. Such enablers can help them immensely.
You can choose the above set of ways to boost your parent’s health or can create methods that you believe can be effective. Whatever plans you implement, you must also try participating with them to encourage them to not slip up from the health routine. And even if they fail to follow the routine well, do not make them feel bad for it. Instead, motivate them more and engage them. Show your encouragement which is the key to motivating them to do better. Your parents should aim to follow a healthier diet and fitness pattern to improve their overall well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How do you educate parents about eating healthy?
A. You can use several ways to educate your parents about eating healthy. Furthermore, you can share or show them blogs, videos, or similar content that highlights the importance of eating healthy as a first step. You can also try making them understand the harmful effects that some food items possess that are part of their regular diet. Make them know the diseases they can get by eating unhealthy foods. Let them know that you do not want them to fall ill and that you wish to see your parents around for a long time, which will help them understand the importance of eating healthy.
Q. What are five things a parent can do at home to encourage healthy eating?
A. Five things that parents can do at their home to encourage healthy eating include:
- Cook healthy and delicious food items for children and educate them about these foods’ different nutritious qualities.
- Make sure that you only eat healthily and be a role model to your children, encouraging them to follow the path of eating healthy.
- Buy seasonal fruits and vegetables regularly, which are healthier than other snacks and encourage them to consume them in plenty.
- Show praise and encouragement when your child opts for healthier food than fast food items.
- Share meals as a family and educate children to eat mindfully and slowly.
Q. How do you improve the health of you and your family members?
A. The first step to improving your health and your family members is to shift your daily diet to a healthy one. Along with following a nutritious diet, make time for family workouts, walks, cycling, etc., daily. You can also slowly cut down on the amount of fast-food bought and consumed in your household. With time, you will get used to such healthier habits, which will improve the health of you and your family.
Q. How can kids take care of their health?
A. It may be impossible to make kids take care of their health independently. But if you ultimately wish to do so, you have to be a good role model to them by following a healthy diet and encouraging your kids to do so. Set aside time for family workout sessions making kids do light fitness activities based on their age. Educate them on the importance of eating healthy and following a fitness routine.
Q. How can I promote healthy eating at home?
A. The primary step to promoting healthy eating at home is to educate your family members on the importance of the same. Teach them the importance of following a healthy diet to ensure that their bodies get all the nutrients in the right amounts to avoid getting any diseases. You also must be a role model to the rest of the family members by following a healthy diet, eating breakfast every day and consuming fruits and vegetables in plenty.
Q. How can you promote a healthy lifestyle in your family and community?
A. You can promote a healthy lifestyle in your family and community by educating them on the importance of following a healthier lifestyle. In addition, you can share tips on following a healthy lifestyle and highlight its significance on social media websites, which can help promote and create an impact within the community. Furthermore, you have to be a person who leads a strict healthy lifestyle which can make many see you as a role model. You can also share how much fitter and healthier you have become after following a healthy lifestyle, encouraging your family and community to take up such a lifestyle.
Q. How do you keep a healthy family?
A. If you wish to build and keep a healthy family, you can add the following health routines to your lifestyle:
- Set aside time for family workouts
- Follow a healthy diet
- Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Cut down on fast foods
- Manage portions
- Educate other family members on the importance of following a healthy routine
Q. What can you do to improve your family?
A. To have a healthy family, it is essential to follow a healthy lifestyle and build and share a strong bond. Set up a healthy routine by improving your diet and setting aside time for family. Spend quality time with one another. For the same, make sure that everyone eats together at a table, sharing meals and stories of their day. Involve all family members in everyone’s matters, allowing even the youngest member to share their opinion. Only a strong bond with one another and a healthy lifestyle can improve a family.
Q. How do parents influence their child’s eating habits?
A. Parents can play a significant role in their child’s life as, at a very young age, their role models, their reference points, etc., all will be their parents. So, it is evident that a child will only try to imitate their parent’s eating habits. This way, parents can develop healthy eating habits in their children from a very young age itself by following a healthy diet and only eating healthy foods.
10. How can you promote health?
A. You can promote health by letting everyone around you know the importance of being healthy to lead a longer, better life. In addition, you can share videos, articles, etc. with them, that show the plight of people who lead a non-healthy lifestyle. You can also shift your family’s diet to a healthier one and set aside time for family workouts. While doing so, make sure to also educate your family members on the importance of following such a health routine. Above all, be a role model to your family and the society, which alone is good health promotion.
Q. How do you promote a healthy and active lifestyle?
The best way to promote a healthy and active lifestyle is by showing how well you are doing and how fit and healthy you have become by following such a lifestyle. It will motivate everyone to be healthy and fit like you are. You can also share health tips and fitness tips on social media platforms or with your family and educate them on the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle.