Lori Lori is a work-at-home mom of three living in Noblesville, Indiana.

Moms are these unique people who go to great lengths to make sure our kids have it all. Do they have nice clothes for school? Are they taking their vitamins? Are they eating their fruits and vegetables? When it comes to self-care though, moms are often seen eating scraps of their children’s leftovers, not making time for exercise and skimping on sleep in order to keep the house in order. I know I — USED to do many of those things until I started feeling sluggish and noticed the pounds creeping on.

It is truly vital as moms to take care of ourselves. If you fail to every put yourself first, you can’t take as good of care of your kids. Take a look at these five easy ways to be healthier than you can start today.

Stay hydrated.

It is SO important to drink enough water each day. Right, you’ve heard it before, I know and I used to roll my eyes at people for saying it to me too. BUT. Water is essential for optimal health; it can help flush toxins out of organs, carry nutrients to cells, and prevents dehydration, which can make you sluggish.

Plain water has zero calories and helps manage weight and reduce calories when drank in place of alcohol and regular soda. If plain water isn’t your thing, because sometimes plain old water just doesn’t cut it, try adding some sliced fruits or veggies to it. Strawberries, lemons, and cucumbers are great options.

While you probably love your wine and margaritas (like me!), make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day too. While no single formula fits everyone, The Institute of Medicine determined that men need around 13 cups of beverages a day and women need 9 cups per day. This varies based on age, pregnancy and breast-feeding status. I start drinking water first thing in the morning and drink it all day long! I take a refillable stainless steel mug with me everywhere I go!

Turn off the technology.

Our gadgets offer us a lot of benefits, but it’s good to make sure we have a healthy relationship with technology. Give the people who are in front of you your attention instead of your device. While we often turn to technology for ideas for recipes, driving directions, and social interaction with adults via social media, sometimes it’s vital to disconnect. Set scheduled times to check email and Facebook and focus on being more present. I’ve had those days where I get sucked into social media or become busy working at home, the days where I’m listing things to sell or have a deadline coming and I can’t seem to set my phone down. When possible, put your phone away! Your children will appreciate you being more present and it’s actually healthier for you too!

Get active.

Do your best to move daily. Daily exercise can reduce all the biomarkers of aging, from eyesight to blood pressure, improving bone density and lean muscle. It lowers cholesterol too. If you want to live longer and be well, exercise! Even ten minutes of exercise each day can make a difference according to studies. If you’re busy with the kids, don’t worry. You don’t have to run five miles a day. Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or push the stroller through the park with some friends. Crank the music and have a dance party in your living room. Jump with your kids on the trampoline or jump rope – not only will they think you’re the coolest mom, you’ll burn loads of calories at the same time.

I got out of the habit of exercising until a few summers ago. Feeling sluggish and a carrying a few more pounds that I preferred, I decided to start walking around the neighborhood. I had always exercised into a few years prior and missed being active. I still walk around 3 miles, five days per week and I feel wonderful, have shed a few pounds and my stress levels are much lower. I walked throughout my last pregnancy and it helped me not gain so much baby weight and made the entire pregnancy so much… BETTER! Sometimes my kids accompany me for part of the walk, sometimes I am pushing a stroller or pulling a wagon, heck sometimes I am WEARING the baby, but I always find a way to make those walks happen!!

Eat right.

Not sure what to eat? First focus on getting vegetables daily. Most people eat very few servings and FIVE servings are the number that is recommended. You can eat them steamed, raw, or stir-fried. Aim for the vegetables with the most powerful phytonutrients; those with bold colors like leafy greens, tomatoes, cabbages, and carrots. If you have a hard time consuming enough vegetables, try to prepare all of your veggies on Sundays so they’re easy to grab on the go. Cut them up and put them in tupperware. It’s the only thing that works for me! Vegetables can be pricey (all groceries, really) so I buy mine at Aldi. Shopping there has slashed my grocery bill and I can buy all sorts of fresh produce for a modest amount of money.

Reduce your stress and get rest.

Make sure you get enough rest at night. if you’re stressed, try meditation and yoga. Make sure your room is as dark as possible. I LOVE blackout curtains. My kids have them in their rooms too because mama needs her SLEEP!

If you have a lot on your mind, write down those stressful thoughts so they’re not floating around in your mind. I have trouble turning off my racing mind more nights than not and keep a pad of paper and pen in my nightstand. Usually when I’m feeling overwhelmed and can’t relax, jotting down all of those thoughts running through my mind and taking a few deep breaths is all it takes to make me feel more calm so I can sleep.

There is a good chance you want to be healthier, but aren’t sure where to begin. The good news is that being “healthy” isn’t all or nothing. Start walking for 10 minutes each day. Pay attention to how much time you spend using technology and start reducing that time immediately. Set some attainable, measurable goals to help you drink more water. There are simple things you can start doing today to take a step in the direction of better health, so you not only feel better, you set a good example for your kids too.

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Category: Food

Tags: health