Compared to past generations, our modern way of living has caused dramatic changes in the lives of many people in the world. Consequently, most people spend their time distracted by their phones, tablets, and computers. This is not wholesome living and can be dangerous to mental health and adaptability to our rapidly changing social and economic environments. How about you start a wholesome living for the whole family?
Living a wholesome life involves taking healthy meals and being active. To encourage your family to live healthy lifestyles, make time for exercise, eat healthy meals, prioritize faith, and lead by example. Respect, care, and love your family, allow the freedom to speak what is on your mind, and spend time together to have a wholesome family.
Did you know that simply by choosing wholesome living, you could extend your days and help you live the healthiest life ever? Choosing wholesome living reduces illnesses such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, depression, and coronary heart disease!
Too good to be true? Keep reading to join me in learning the truth.
What It Means: Wholesome Living for the Whole Family
To have a wholesome living for your whole family:
- Stay active
- Manage stress effectively
- Get enough rest and sleep
- Engage in fellowship, dining, and working on projects together
- Avoid living alone, and have close friends and family in your circle
- Balance healthy eating with regular physical exercise for wholesome living and preventing unhealthy weight gain and heart disease.
- Prioritize healthy foods such as leafy greens, root vegetables, squashes, bread made from ancient grains, and fruits.
- Avoid fast food, cigarettes, foods with saturated fat, prepackaged foods, processed foods, and sweetened beverages, as these put your health at risk.
- Prioritize using healthy products in your home.
If you want to live healthier, reducing screen time is vital!
While technology is useful, it is addictive, promotes physical laziness, and is incredibly distracting. Technology can be highly disruptive to your everyday life and productivity, especially factoring in the “”fear of missing out”” habits and addictions that afflict many families.
When you think you need to start cleaning, a message pops up. You do not want to ignore it, fearing feeling rude. So you are glued to your gadget unintentionally for another 1, 2, or more hours. Before you know it, half the day is gone!
Physical inactivity is dangerous and puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack, among other ailments.
You and your family will enjoy better health by cutting screen time as much as possible. Unless you're expecting a call, consider keeping your gadgets off. Instead of slipping into the time vortex of social media and gadget scrolling, do something constructive or use that time to exercise.
Taking on a more active lifestyle can be done without significant time sacrificed from your busy schedule. You can stay active by exercising for 20 to 30 minutes per day or engaging in physical activities with your family (like bike rides, walks, outside games, hiking…etc.). For better results, increase the time to at least 1 hour on Saturday or Sunday.
Staying Active Without Overextending Your Finances
It is fun and cheaper to exercise from home than from a gym.
Let me explain.
You can buy gym tools, for example, a treadmill, stationary bike, weights, or Total Gym, and use them at home. Gym tools at home allow you to work out anytime, whether at 5:00 a.m. or late evening. Hence, you can honor your workout schedule effectively for as long as you are disciplined.
You don't need expensive equipment either to be fit (and no, we aren't talking about Yoga). Simply take the family for a hike or bike ride, walk around your neighborhood, or even doing various activities to improve or maintain your home and garden.
Besides, you can make it fun by involving the rest of the family in the workout activity. Below are some of the ways you could stay active even without having any gym tools at home!
Do you love gardening? Great, gardening is another healthy and beneficial way of staying active. You are physically active when you dig, remove weeds, trim, and rake plants.
Many experts agree that gardening is a moderate physical activity that could help you burn 330+ calories in only one hour. If you don't have space for a garden, consider container gardening together with your spouse and kids. Another option would be to join or create a community garden.
Everyone loves dancing, especially younger kids. So, having a family dance party in the living room is easy. Surprisingly, if you choose a music playlist everyone loves, you may not realize you have been dancing for 45 minutes or more!
That is why dancing is a great healthy lifestyle for a wholesome living for the whole family.
Not only will it help burn all dangerous calories, but you will also improve your fitness and lose unnecessary weight. Not to mention, it also helps in strengthening your body muscles while boosting the release of happy hormones.
Watch What You Eat
For most people, diet and lifestyle are the primary causes of diseases and deaths in most developed countries. You shorten or expand your lifespan by what you eat. While healthy nutrition helps you live longer, unhealthy food weakens your immune system. A weak immune system sets your body up to invite parasitic, fungal, viral, and bacterial infections.
However, people are different, and so should their diets! Some factors that may make you eat a different diet include:
- Your gut bacteria
- Environmental toxins
- Current health status
For example, someone who drives a car to work or takes the kids to school may need a different diet from someone who walks daily.
However, everyone should ensure they avoid standard vegetable oils and choose to eat plenty of sustainably grown (preferably local) veggies, fruits, nuts, meats, and dairy products.
Having too much of anything is unnecessary and arguably gluttonous. Moderation is vital in your food portions.
While each body is different in terms of what specific foods are ideal, everyone should avoid processed foods and packaged food, as they may contain harmful additives (legally not on the label) or provide empty calories lacking nutritional value.
Children also need a healthy diet to avoid being underweight or overweight, as each adversely affects their lives. Plus, encouraging your kids to eat healthily sets them up for future healthy habits when they're grown.
Save Money by Eating Healthier
It is best to plant some herbs, fruits, and vegetables in your home or community garden to cut the cost of living. For example, in our home garden that spans less than 1/8th acre, my family regularly grows: nectarines, cherries, blueberries, spinach, roman lettuce, onions, garlic, pumpkins, kiwi, beets, rosemary, thyme, leeks, cabbage, cauliflower, arrowroot, parsnips, summer squash, zucchini, strawberries, beans, chickpeas, tomatoes, peppers, turmeric, peas, green beans, leeks, and ginger.
The best thing is that when you grow foods and fruits organically in your home garden, you will be free from diseases from eating foods grown with harmful chemicals.
Plus, anytime the kids are “starving,” they can go outside and pick whatever they want. Plus, we enjoy the quality time spent together growing and preparing the food that sustains us.
Apply Effective Stress Management Techniques
Stress cannot kill you by itself, but it worsens underlying conditions and drastically changes your lifestyle. Take, for example, due to stress; some people start smoking and drinking alcohol.
Also, extended exposure to stressors could lead to reducing your immune system's effectiveness and promote the occurrence of chronic diseases. These diseases could lead to premature death, which is why stress is often referred to as a silent killer.
Looking for effective stress management techniques is vital to wholesome living for the whole family. Ideas for reducing your stress include:
- Eating healthy meals
- Participating in regular physical activity
- Intentionally taking deep breaths as often as you can
- Looking for effective ways to solve the underlying stress-causing problem
- Venting to family and friends about how you feel (bonus if you allow them to help you strategize how to solve the underlying problem)
- Spending quality time with people who care
With good stress management practices, you will enjoy better sleep quality, maintain a reasonable body weight, develop a great support system, encourage healthy relationships within your family, and help strengthen your immune system.
Get Sufficient Quality Sleep
Good sleep is essential and contributes to a wholesome lifestyle. Despite the age, achieving enough undisturbed sleep is paramount.
While you sleep, your body and mind rest, your body repairs itself, and your brain's health and functionality are restored.
The four primary reasons why sleep is essential are:
- Your body works on healing itself and digesting more efficiently
- You can better control your emotions
- Night snacking stops, allowing your weight to become more manageable
- Your brain restores and functions appropriately throughout the day, so you can think and concentrate well
Without enough sleep, you expose yourself to lower sex drive (negatively impacting your marriage), stroke, diabetes, obesity, heart failure, high blood pressure, depression, and reduced immune system functionality.
Ideally, strive to have at least 7 to 9 hours of undisrupted sleep each night.
How much sleep should you and your family members get?
Everyone will obviously have different needs, depending on what their needs are. Most experts recommend the following sleep amounts based on age:
- Children 0-3 months should sleep 14 to 17 hours per day
- Children 4-11 months should sleep 12-15 hours per day
- Children 1-2 years should sleep 11-14 hours per day
- Children 3-5 years should sleep 10-13 hours per day
- Children 6-13 years should sleep 9-11 hours per day
- Teenagers 14-17 years old should sleep 8-10 hours per day
- Adults 18-64 years should sleep 7-9 hours per day
- Senior adults over the age of 65 should sleep 7-8
If you're fighting off an infection or dealing with chronic illness, you'll need more than 12 hours of sleep.
While enduring chronic autoimmune and neurological health issues, I routinely slept 16-20 hours each day.
Teenagers often need to sleep more when growing or experiencing significant brain or hormone changes.
Connect With the World and God
Living isolated and alone is less fun than some assume, especially when you remove electronic distractions. Without family and friends in your circle, it is easy to get stressed and sick.
God never created us to take on life in this world entirely alone and isolated. We require connection to Him and others for companionship.
When local friends visit, they can help you with gardening, meal preparations, walking in the neighborhood, reducing emotional stress through talking, bible study, building things, or just having fun together during your workout sessions. These activities are impossible to do at a meaningful level with social media friends.
Build Your Faith Together
Building your faith is critical to wholesome living for the whole family.
How do you develop your faith as a family?
Read your Bible together, and discuss what the passages mean to you in your current life season. Include your children, showing them that the Bible takes on different meanings in different phases of life, making it essential to continually study.
Also, pray together at every meal, before leaving home, during your daily activities, and during your bedtime routine.
“A family that prays together stays together.”
When you spend time together in prayers, your family bond strengthens, and the evil one cannot scatter you.
Ideally, strive to have at least 30 minutes to 1 hour of family prayers and bible study daily.
Family members who don't eat together are more likely to fight and argue than those who dine together.
On the contrary, you strengthen your bond by eating meals together while sharing stories and memories during meal times. This is especially true when you also prepare those shared meals together, much like how our great-grandparents lived.
Sadly, in the modern world, when parents often leave for work very early in the morning and come home late in the evening, eating meals together can be challenging.
If you can't arrange your schedules to eat together once a day, at least strive to eat four meals together each week. This will make a massive difference in creating a more positive family dynamic!
I know not all families can manage to eat together regularly. As a military wife, I've brought food to the base so our family could enjoy quick lunches together, and have forgone months of family meals while my husband was away. If you have a similar situation, don't fret. When you're together, enjoy your time together and build your family bond in the time you have.
Work Together To Prepare Meals
The beautiful thing about cooking and meal prep is that it is easy to give everyone their own task to do. For example, someone could wash utensils while others clean the dining table and set it for meal time. While one person grates the carrots, another could place all the necessary ingredients on the table, such as seasonings and cooking fat.
When kids get involved in cooking, they are often happier eating that food. The same for spouses.
I loved those days when my dad allowed me to help cook homemade burritos. Seeing him cook, smelling all the smells, and seeing the colorful peppers simmering with the meat and beans on the stove made me want to eat the meals he prepared! It invited all our senses to indulge in the whole food preparation and eating experience.
The same happened with my husband when we would cook together nearly every night before having kids on the days he was home. Now, our kids spend numerous hours every week cooking in the kitchen with me, exploring the ingredients, snacking on them individually, and while simmering together. Because of all the beautiful memories, mealtime is my favorite time to spend together as a family.
Ditch Hidden Harmful Chemicals in Your Family's Products
Too many products contain harmful chemicals. In fact, air in the average American home is 60% more toxic than it is outside, even near a city. Too many companies are using harmful additives to their products that are marketed to you as safe methods for cleaning your home and your bodies. Those harmful ingredients aren't necessary but result in too much corporate income for the companies to pay attention to what consumers need or want, even when those products become public health hazards.
Harmful chemicals are found in common household cleaners, laundry supplies, hand soaps, skincare products, hair care products, air fresheners, and candles. These ingredients are known to have carcinogenic and neurotoxicity properties, along with causing reproductive harm and developmental delays. Adding this level of physical stress to your body and immune system doesn't help when seeking a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle.
Why Is It Important To Maintain a Wholesome Family Relationship?
Maintaining a wholesome family relationship is vital because children feel safer at home than anywhere else. Husbands and wives feel safer at home together, too.
When a family has a wholesome relationship, everyone feels safer and more secure at home.
Plus, kids learn practical social skills from watching their parents at home.
Kids who grow up in a family with healthy habits and great relationships have:
- High levels of self-esteem and confidence
- More capable of solving practical problems
- Higher levels of physical and mental health
- A better relationship with your spouse, family, and friends
- Less anxiety
An excellent family relationship creates an environment full of:
Love: When everyone is home, they should feel loved and treasured by other family members. A simple hug or kiss, or even time snuggled up reading, could make all the difference. Offering a place to sit and a warm or cold drink is another act that could show love.
Trust: Everyone has a secret they would not want other people to know except the one they have opened up to. If your kid or spouse confides in you, be trustworthy. Keep the information private.
Warmth: Creating a warm environment at home involves serving each other during meal times, eating and drinking together, playing games as a family, and going out over the weekend. Such activities make people desire to be at home early enough to spend time with other family members. However, chaos, insults, bullies, and other activities make people want to be away from other members of the family.
Why Is It Important To Maintain Wholesome Living for the Whole Family?
There are many benefits to maintaining a wholesome lifestyle for your family, including maximizing your physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.
Embrace a Wholesome Lifestyle for Better Physical Health:
A family that practices healthy habits such as exercising, sleeping undisrupted enough, and eating a balanced diet enjoys better physical health. As a family, therefore, spare enough time for exercising, rest, meals, and sleeping.
When you practice healthier habits, you extend them to your children as they grow up, adding them to their family values. They're more likely to pass on wholesome lifestyle practices to their children. This becomes a legacy to be proud of.
Use Your Wholesome Lifestyle To Maximize Excellence Mental Health:
Good mental health makes you productive and improves your mood throughout the day.
Some ways to improve your well-being and mental health include getting enough sleep, rest, exercise, doing what you love most at least once a day, and eating a balanced diet.
Also, having a good relationship with God aids in excellent mental health.
“The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.”Proverbs 10:7 (NKJ)
High Physical Energy: Eating a balanced diet, drinking enough water, and sleeping at least 7 to 9 hours keeps you energized throughout the day.
You become more productive and associate well with everyone when you have more physical energy.
It is paramount, therefore, to avoid electronics such as TV and cell phones for at least 30 minutes before going to bed. The blue light from mobile phones makes it difficult to sleep. Why? The light hinders the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for controlling your sleeping and waking cycle.
Your family will enjoy better health, a wholesome lifestyle, and increased longevity. While God determines the number of our days here on earth, eating canned and processed foods, physical inactivity, inadequate nutrition, obesity, and poor sleeping habits may shorten your life. That is why most people die before their God-ordained time. God has no control over such issues because he respects your freedom of choice here on earth! Therefore, stay healthy by eating well and living an active life.
Wholesome Living for the Whole Family Is Essential, and It Has Numerous Health Benefits.
Good health and well-being are critical in helping you avoid chronic diseases that would cut your life short.
You must make tough decisions to get these benefits, like avoiding refined grains, fatty foods, sugary or alcoholic drinks, and tobacco use. Stay healthy by eating fruits and vegetables, among other healthy foods.
As a rule of thumb, ensure that your diet has vitamins, proteins, and whole grains. Eat more high-fiber foods and veggies, and drink plenty of water. Also, have enough rest and sleep every night.
Do a lot of exercises to maintain a healthy weight. This helps to lower the risk of many chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and obesity.
Nonetheless, our bodies are unique, and so should our diet. It is, therefore, necessary to see a functional nutritionist, biological dentist, or other natural wellness coaches who can help you know which nutrients should be in your diet. Muscle testing or intuitive eating are other ways to determine which foods are best for your body, but those skills take time to develop.
Make healthy choices today, reduce screen time, and manage stress effectively!
Nicole is a wife, homeschooling mom, child of God, Navy veteran, information research analyst, and entrepreneur currently serving as a writer, healthy lifestyle coach, and flexible business strategist. Since earning a BA in Business from Virginia Wesleyan University, focusing on business strategy, she has also taken many courses and seminars in Psychology, Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Chemistry, Biology, and Theology. She loves gardening, needlepoint, hiking, animals, and teaching natural wellness and healthy lifestyle topics.