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7 Health Tips for Busy Moms

Working and maintaining a family as a modern black woman is never easy. Being healthy is a challenge for every lifestyle, especially with the busy schedule today’s world often demands. However, for every bit of effort we put in, we reap the rewards. Plus, give the poor health statistics about Black women and heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, we owe it ourselves and to our families to take good care of ourselves. With just a few adjustments to your schedule, you can live healthier and happier, feel more fulfilled, and best of all, have more energy to deal with the stresses of balancing a career and a family.

1.    Make a conscious decision to be healthy. Although it seems simple enough, it’s often the most important step. The mind is a powerful organ. Once we’ve made the decision to do something, we have the power to change our lives. As black women, we’ve faced considerable challenges. We’ve been successful at overcoming difficulty because we made the conscious decision to take control of our lives. Improving our health is the next frontier in our movement. If you don’t have healthy habits yet, make the decision to bring them into your life. Have faith that you will succeed. It’s the conscious decision that plants the seed for real change.

2.    Sleep well. Staying in bed to get the right amount of sleep isn’t lazy, nor is it ignoring your family. Raising a family and maintaining a career takes considerable energy and you’ll need good sleep to pull it off. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. If you don’t get enough sleep, you have less energy for your family and the needs of the day. Hitting the snooze alarm or getting a restful nap may help you perform better as a mother than just sludging through every day without enough sleep.

3.    Get daily exercise, even if it’s as simple as walking the baby down the block, stopping for the occasional rest to catch up with the neighborhood. Most doctors recommend 30 minutes of moderately intense cardiovascular exercise 5 times a week. It helps you maintain your weight and reduces the risk of heart disease. If you are a mother who works out of the home, exercise can be a nice escape and gets you out of the house. Not only is exercise healthy, but it can be a nice get away that serves to restore your energy as well.

4.    Make healthy food choices. You may be tempted to nibble the chicken nuggets off your kids’ plate or eat a bag of potato chips for lunch, but inadequate food can kill your energy as well as your health. Poor choices in foods add up- on your hips as well as your energy levels. It may help to plan healthy meals ahead of time and stick to them. Since you may be cooking for the whole family, everyone can benefit when you serve healthier food and plan better meals.

5.    Drink lots of water. Sometimes, sluggish energy is just the result of dehydration, yet we don’t notice it, blaming our tiredness on stress. Even headaches can be the simple result of not drinking enough water. Plus, if you drink lots of soda or even fruit juice, the calories add up, contributing to serious weight gain. When you drink water, you’re fully hydrated and have more energy, but you’re also fuller. You’ll tend to eat less, which makes it easier to lose weight and live healthier.

6.    Get yourself a recruit team. Chances are there are other mothers in the neighborhood, at the baby sitters, in your church or maybe at work that face similar challenges and also seek to lead healthier lives. Form an informal support group where you encourage each other. It also might help to exercise together and do communal activities. This can be especially helpful if you’re working in the home and need a little adult interaction. Encouragement from others not only inspires us, but creates a human connection to make living our lives easier.

7.    Make time for yourself. You may be busy, but it’s important to take part of the day and make it your time, whether that is a crossword puzzle over a cup of coffee, a relaxing bath, or a few minutes alone with a good book. You deserve a little quality time for yourself. You’ll be happier, and your family will be happier as a result.

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