Tips for New Dads: 9 Healthy Habits to Teach Your Kids


Watch Me, Dad!
Even if you just brought your bundle of joy home days ago, you’ll scarcely blink your eyes before your active preschooler crows at the playground: “Watch me, Dad!” But remember that your child watches you. Read on for tips on demonstrating a healthy, active life, so you’ll never need to tell your child, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Get Your 5-a-Day
You’ll have greater success introducing your child to colorful, crisp and crunchy fruits and vegetables if you regularly eat and enjoy them yourself. Research shows that eating five or more fruits and vegetables every day helps prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and stroke (CDC, 2009).

Berries at breakfast, salad with lunch, and steamed veggies with dinner satisfy you, help keep you slim, and show your child how to eat for health.

Cook Up Fun
Engage your child in the kitchen and garden—even if you live in the city and your garden consists of pots of herbs in a sunny window. Kids love to stir and pour, and their sense of wonder will come alive as they watch tiny shoots emerge from the soil and transform into veggies, herbs, or fruit they enjoy.

Bag Lunch = Good Health and College Funds
Switch from getting your midday meal from the sandwich shop or fast-food joint to packing your own lunch. You’ll log plenty of practice in making healthy, tasty lunches by the time your child marches off to kindergarten. Eating a bagged lunch also will help manage your salt and fat intake and save you money—which you can funnel into a college fund.

Early Childhood Activity
Model an active life for your child from the get-go. Bundle the baby into a carrier and check TrailLink to find a beautiful place to walk in your area. Invest in a jogger that lets you run, walk, or skate while your child takes in the sensory stimulation the outdoors offers.

When your child is big enough to ride in a safe and comfortable bike carrier, cruise around to show them the sights and demonstrate that bicycling is fun.

Go Smoke-Free
Now is the time to let go of your tobacco habit. You’ll feel better, have more energy to play with your child, live longer and—most importantly—you won’t model unhealthy, high-risk behavior.

Get help quitting through, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, or talk with your doctor about smoking cessation aids.

Be Friendly
Friends are good for your physical and mental health, according to an analysis of 148 studies published in PLOS Medicine that showed a link between relationships and lower mortality risk (Holt-Lunstad, et al., 2010). Women tend to reap this benefit more than men do, but you can counter that trend.

Join a social, athletic, community, or faith-based group where you can meet others, develop relationships, and show your child that friends are important throughout life.

Show Them How to Snooze
This may sound like illogical advice for a new dad who is up at night with a newborn. However, chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, cancer and depression (NCBI, 2006).

As time passes and your child grows, show them the importance of regular sleep by going to bed and getting up at the same time each day—even on weekends. Aim for seven to eight hours a night

Raise Your Glass (of Water)
According to USDA dietary guidelines, moderate drinking consists of two drinks or less per day for men (USDA, 2010). If you tend to consume more than that—even occasionally—think about cutting back. You’ll lower your risk for liver disease, pancreatitis, some cancers, and high blood pressure, which are associated with overindulging in alcohol (CDC, 2012), and you’ll exhibit a responsible approach to drinking.

Hand Over Good Health
Hand washing is the best and easiest way to prevent the spread of colds and flu. As soon as your child is a toddler, teach them how to lather up and scrub thoroughly:

  • before preparing or eating snacks and meals
  • after using the bathroom
  • after sneezing or coughing into hands
  • after each diaper change
  • after handling trash or touching a pet
  • Wash for 20 seconds, about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Your child will have fun while developing this healthy habit.

Source: health line


6 Energy-Boosting Daily Habits That Don’t Rely On Caffeine

Many of us have a love-hate relationship with caffeine because we love the energy it gives us to start our day, but we hate the exhaustion it makes us feel at night. Although we have intimately familiarized ourselves with the stimulant drug during our mornings, mid-afternoon slumps, and in between errands, it masks the symptoms of fatigue and dehydrates the body. To avoid the highs and lows in this caffeine energy rollercoaster, here are six daily habits that will naturally boost your energy all day long.

1. Drink H2O
Replace your juice, caffeinated beverage, or energy drink with some H2O. Drinking a glass or two of water as a quick pick-me-up can give you an energy boost, clearer skin, and better digestion as it flushes toxins from the body. Not drinking enough water can result in dehydration and cause several systems in the body to slow down, and therefore, make you feel tired and irritable. Harvard Health Publications says water is the only nutrient that has been shown to enhance performance for even the most demanding endurance activities. It’s time to drink up!

Tip: To add some flavor to your water, add a lemon to transform water into a natural energy drink with electrolytes that help the cells produce energy.

2. Eat Healthy Fats
Do not eliminate all fats from your diet. Healthy fats are essential for the body to absorb antioxidants and provide you with more energy. A 2012 study found people absorbed fewer antioxidants from veggies when they ate fat-free dressing compared to those who had low-fat and full-fat dressing. Some antioxidants need fat in order to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood where they can take effect. Moreover, they help fight free radicals and give you better focus and clarity.

Tip: Fats from avocado, olive oil, coconut, and fish are best to maximize the amount of energy in your body.

3. Take a Brisk Walk
Going on a brisk walk every day is a good start to increasing your level of physical activity while increasing your energy. Exercising causes the body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are stress hormones that can make you feel energized. In a 2006 study, a team of researchers reviewed 12 large-scale studies on the association between exercise and fatigue. Each study measured the amount of physical activity that participants were doing and how much energy or fatigue the participants experienced. Overall, all of the studies found there was a direct link between a reduced risk of fatigue for those physically active compared to their inactive counterparts.

Tip: Perform aerobic exercises for 30 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week to increase your energy, and promote good heart health.

4. Listen to Your Favorite Song
To get a quick burst of energy, put on your favorite song, and start dancing. The sound of music can elevate your mood and energy level as it invigorates the body by activating several areas of the brain simultaneously leading to new nerve connections, according to a study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience. It’s time to put on your favorite song, sing out loud, and dance for an energy boost.

5. Massage Your Ears
Although this may seem unusual at first glance, massaging your ears increases blood circulation, and therefore increases energy instantly. Dr. Art Karno, a chiropractor in California, says the ear maps the entire body and contains acupressure points that can stimulate every area, organ, or system in the body. He suggests vigorously rubbing your ears from top to bottom, including the lobes, and take three breaths as you do this. Inhale, exhale, and a panting breath for every repetition.

Tip: Start at the lobe and massage up to the top of each ear.

6. Take a Cold Shower
While hot showers can make you feel relaxed, and at ease, cold showers stimulate your body and speed up circulation, which makes you feel more alert. Tim Ferris, author of The 4-hour Body, says freezing cold showers can increase your metabolism, boost your energy levels, bolster your immune system, kick your sex drive into high gear, and even lead to healthier skin and hair. Cold showers are typically 50 degrees and can offer your body a refreshing burst.

Tip: Take a regular shower, and cool it down for the last five minutes or so to ease your body into these cold showers.

Source: medical daily