Wednesday 12 January 2022

Helping us to stay healthy in 2022

Woman drinking water

Looking out for our physical and mental health is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our kids.  After I had kids I often found my niggles, ailments and mental health took a back seat but I've come to realise that the best way to look after them is to also look after myself.  My husband is really good at working out and being good with his diet but I often struggle with motivation, energy and time.   I want to do better this year... if I can. 

Kids with autism are more likely to suffer from other health issues due to things like restricted diets, strict routines and sometimes not accessing healthcare when they need it.  So it's important I watch out for these things too. 

Creating a regular workout 

Having a regular workout plan is one of the essential things to combat any health condition. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects and help reduce stress levels. It also strengthens your heart and muscles, improves circulation, helps control weight, and boosts energy levels. Be sure to consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise program to ensure it is safe for you.

A workout is also a great source of building muscles and bones and ensures that you get a good night's sleep. Workout is the easiest way to reduce stress, which will help your body fight fatigue, depression, and anxiety.

For some people this works best by going to a gym but this doesn't seem to work for us.  My other half sets time aside for cycling whereas I really have to work the workout into a task or routine, such as walking or jogging with the dog, cycling to work or organising the kids school runs so we can do some of it on foot. 

Get rid of toxins

It's easy for our bodies to accumulate toxins from everyday exposure, such as pollution, pesticides, and chemicals in cleaning products.  Many reputable companies provide these services but are sure they use organic fruits and vegetables to ensure no pesticide residue is left behind after processing. David and Anthony have restricted diets but the fruit David eats is organic and so is the milk that Anthony drinks by the gallon.  Hopefully this will be better for them. 

I also know I should be drinking more water.  I'm terrible at this with every excuse from it tastes boring to I don't have time.  Well, I'm going to try simple... just try and drink a glass of water a day and see how I get on. 

Protect our skin

Sun exposure is the leading cause of skin cancer, so it's essential to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays by using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher every day.  Skin protection is beneficial all year round - not just during the summertime. In the winter, wear a suitable coat to shield your skin from the cold and wind; in the fall, wear trousers and a shirt with sleeves to protect your skin and protect lips with a lip balm. 

Our kids have sensory issues that means washing their skin can be difficult, but it's part of protecting it and ourselves so we've found ways they can clean without getting stressed

Eat a more balanced diet 

The first and foremost thing that you must do to combat health conditions is eat a healthy diet. This means reducing the intake of fat, sugar, and salt and drinking plenty of water.  None, of which I'm good at.  I've already mentioned that I don't drink much water and food is one of my go-to's why I'm feeling stressed. I try to help myself by reducing the amount of junk food in the home or make switches where I can.  

It's not always easy, as like many autistic kids ours will only eat certain foods or textures, but we can help by trying to have more fruit that they like than crisps or sweets.  This also helps with their dental health too.  Sometimes we've made a change and had luck - for example moving from cheese flavoured crisps to cheese rice cakes!  Cheese rice cakes are now the favourite!

Seek help if you need it

Whether it's physical or mental, if you think you have an issue with your health, seek help.  It's not been easy recently to see or speak to a GP, but it's important to get things looked into if you are concerned about something.  Many conditions get worse if not looked at, so we'll be making an effort to get support or make an appointment when we need one, instead of months later when things have got worse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a health condition, please reach out for help.

If you have any extra suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

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