CDC Offers Tips to Keep Mothers Healthy
According to the 2004 US Census, there are almost 83 million moms in the United States. In 2007, the CDC National Center for Health Statistics registered 4.3 million births. One thing far too common among moms, especially those with young children or full-time jobs, is neglecting their own health in order to accomplish the tasks of daily life.
Probably the first thing that moms need before they can accomplish anything else is time management and stress relief. After all, most bad lifestyle habits tend to start because we are rushing through a hectic schedule and just trying to do the best we can. However, taking care of others is not easy when we, as moms, don’t take care of ourselves.
First, take a good look at your day. Find tasks that can be delegated to others. Even small children can do simple household tasks, such as picking up and putting away, dusting, or drying dishes. Remember that there are other moms in the same boat, so try sharing tasks among friends, such as carpooling, making cupcakes for school functions, and swapping babysitting services.
There are also probably some tasks that can be deleted, so take a look at everything you do during a typical day and see which provide true value to you and your family. The rest can be eliminated to free up some time, and stress.
With a few added minutes to your day, think first about fitting in exercise. If you are a morning person and are able to sneak out while everyone is asleep, get up 15 to 30 minutes early and take a walk. Exercise not only keeps us fit, but is also an excellent method of stress relief. In the morning, exercise brings energy to the day out of a sense of accomplishment. If you are not a morning person, or your mornings are too packed with chores already, try a walk during a lunch break or in the evenings while dinner is cooking.
The next best change to make for your health, and that of your family, is to spend more time planning simple, but healthy, meals. Grabbing fast food and pre-packaged meals may be time-savers, but in the end they will affect both your health and your wallet. Grab some simple recipes from Rachael Ray’s 30-minute meals or Ellen Gray’s Healthy-Quick-Meals. Format your shopping list to match the order you encounter the food in the grocery store to save time, and prevent grabbing unhealthy items not on the list.
Last, but certainly not least, be sure to get enough sleep at night. Recent studies have found chronic sleep deprivation to be associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. If stress keeps you up at night, try meditation or prayer or anything that can help calm your nerves. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine right before bed, and be sure that your bedroom is conducive to sleep, such as being set at a comfortable temperature and is free of clutter.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website features mom’s health in honor of the coming Mother’s Day weekend. The site has a “Mom’s Health” quiz and plenty of tips to help moms carve out time for being healthy. They also offer Mother’s Day Healthy e-Cards to send to your favorite mom to let he know that she deserves good health.
The whole family benefits when mom is healthy, so don’t think of any of these tips as “selfish”. Denying your own needs will not make you a better mom; just a more worn-out one.