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Families. They may drive you round the bend, but they can also be an invaluable source of care, help and encouragement. As part of Men’s Health Month, we’re looking at ways that families can help support the health and wellbeing of men and how men can make positive contributions to the health and happiness of their families.

Family nutrition

Traditionally, the dinner table has been the cornerstone of the family. In today’s world, people sit down and eat together less often; however, that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on the quality of food or the connections sharing food brings. Swisse dietitian, Simone Austin, explains further:

“Eating together is a great way to reconnect as a family. While it may not be realistic to sit down together for every meal, try making a goal to have a healthy family meal around the table a few times a week. Fill the plates with veggies, a small serve of lean meat or fish and whole-grain carbohydrates, and relax, unwind and share together.”

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Family movement

There’s no denying that exercise is good for you, with 30 minutes of exercise per day being the recommended amount.

“While it may seem daunting to fit this in, there are loads of ways exercise can be incorporated into family activity,” says Swisse personal trainer and naturopath, Deanna Mascioli. “Walking together, swimming and activities in the park are all great ways to move the body while spending quality time together. As well as many documented physical health benefits, exercise releases endorphins, which can help emotional balance and positive mood, and promote overall feelings of wellbeing.”

What more reason do you need to take that soccer ball down to the park today?

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Family mindfulness

What is mindfulness and what role can it play in my family, you might ask? Well, we’ve got mindfulness and meditation teacher, Meg James, here to get you on board:

“In its simplest terms, mindfulness means to pay attention. Not regretting what you said or did yesterday or worrying about tomorrow, but simply allowing yourself to be here, in this moment, without judgement.

“Mindfulness comes in all different shapes and sizes, not just the clichéd image of a monk sitting under a tree chanting ‘om’. Perhaps it's the simple act of going for a surf or a swim, painting, taking photos, dancing, singing, playing catch with your dog; whatever activity brings you into the present moment.”

Essentially, Meg is telling you to put your phone down, look up and start living in the moment with your family. It’s sage advice.