While January is usually the most common time for us to kickstart healthy habits, it seems September is becoming the new time for a fresh wellness plan.

That is according to the results of a new study, which has revealed people are embracing the power of healthy routines for their families this September, with some 87 per cent saying they were planning on eating more healthily and being more active from September onwards and three out of four parents (77 per cent) believe that routine is fundamental to this.

The study, by leading health and wellness company, Juice Plus+, was conducted among 2,005 parents or guardians of children aged under 18 living at home in the UK. When questioned, more than half of parents (57 per cent) said that the month children start back at school, either physically or virtually, is the perfect time to get structured dietary and exercise routines in place to help their families live a healthier and more active life.

As summer is over, 35 per cent of respondents mentioned that they want to concentrate on their goals for the rest of the year and are looking for healthy routines to help them achieve these. More than a third of people questioned (42 per cent) are also making the consideration that winter is coming and that healthy routines will help benefit their mental health throughout the colder months.

While January is traditionally seen as the time of year to make resolutions, the study shows that 63 per cent of respondents say that they are putting more emphasis on health and wellness this September compared to the beginning of the year.

The focus on health and diet also comes through in school lunch box choices with 44 per cent of parents saying they are including healthier options as well as more fruit and vegetables in their kids’ lunches. The study revealed that bananas were the most popular fruit, followed by strawberries and apples, with carrots coming in asthe most popular vegetable, followed by broccoli and cucumber.

To help create healthy routines, Juice Plus+ Nutritionist, Chantal Van der Brempt, suggested:

  • Stay hydrated: First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water with added lemon juice to hydrate the body. Throughout the day, opt for a selection of drinks, from herbal teas to vegetable juices; there are plenty of great options available.
  • Sleep well: Creating a healthy sleep routine benefits your body and mind in a multitude of ways; sleep is incredibly important for the immune system. Start a pre-bedtime routine 60 to 90 minutes before you would normally go to bed and fill this time with relaxing activities that don’t involve a screen, such as taking a bath or reading. Be consistent and your sleeping pattern will improve, leaving you more rested and energised.
  • Be active: If you are starting out, the key is to do something that you can maintain and that doesn’t put a strain on the rest of your day. So, for instance, why not go for a walk or run before the kids get up in the morning? Or roll out your yoga mat or hop on your bicycle after you switch off your laptop for the day? Finding the timeslot that works with your daily routine will make it easier to stay on track.
  • Get good nutrition: It is always best to get your nutrients from a healthy, balanced plant-based diet and try to balance your caloric intake with your energy expenditure. Try out new recipes, cook with family and be curious with trying new fruits and vegetables. Keep targets and changes realistic – you are more likely to manage small steps and maintain them long term. Some of us may not get enough good nutrition in our diets and not enough fruits and vegetables. That’s where food supplements can be very helpful to help bridge the gap between what you should eat and what you do eat.
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