Your parents’ health is important but so is yours. You can team up with them to break unhealthy habits and improve your overall health. Not only does this improve your quality of life, but it’s also a great way to spend time together and bond. It also doesn’t have to be hard.
Here are some of the healthy habits you can work on together.
Get 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise
Aim for at least half an hour of daily exercise. Ideally, you’ll mix up the activities through the week. One day could be strength training and another day is a brisk walk on a nature trail. Once a week, you could go to a Yoga or Zumba class together. Swimming, bicycling, and Tai Chi are other activities you can do together.
If you and your parents smoke, it’s time to give that habit up. You may find you’re more successful if you make a pact to stop smoking together. You’ll have each other for support. Talk to a doctor to see if nicotine gum, nicotine patches, or other cessation products would be helpful.
A drink now and then isn’t horrible, but if you’re having a few drinks a night, it’s a problem. Work on lowering the number of drinks you have each week. Aim for no more than one small drink per night. If it’s hard to give up, make mocktails, get non-alcoholic beers and wines, and focus on flavorful beverages like iced tea or seltzer with a lot of fresh fruit added for flavor.
Stress happens for any number of reasons, but it also has a negative impact on your health. Work on ways to de-stress together. Go for a long walk on the beach. Head to a spa for a massage or body treatment. Seek a support group that gives you both a place to air your frustrations that cause the stress to build. Getting outside for sun and fresh air also helps some ease the stress and tension they feel.
Take Breaks From Each Other
One of the things you both need is to socialize. Family caregivers need to remember to take an evening off every now and then to enjoy time with friends or family. Hiring respite care services from professional caregivers ensures this happens. Plus, your parents socialize with someone else while you’re away. Call an agency to learn more.