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Kids & Family

(BPT) - Summertime and outdoor fun go hand-in-hand. But even with blue skies and sunshine, most of us spend about 90 percent of our time indoors, even during the summer, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Promote a healthier lifestyle at home

With school out, families are spending more time with each other. This is the perfect opportunity to kick-start new healthy habits by taking steps that will help improve your family's overall wellbeing.

Breathing cleaner air in your home is one of the many ways to help improve the health of your family. Experts agree, the air inside your home might not be the best for you and your family. Research shows that the air inside our homes can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside.

Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH, a family physician in Lexington, Kentucky, and coauthor of The Mommy MD Guide to the Toddler Years, encourages awareness, conversation, and education about health and wellness of children - and of entire families.

"Between the heat of summer and the dramatic weather changes, I see a lot of families suffer from allergies, skin irritations and summer colds," says Dr. McAllister. "Take advantage of the upcoming months to make changes to promote a healthier lifestyle and prevent illness."

She suggests the following tips to help motivate your family and make healthy living fun this summer:

Grow plants. Hosting houseplants has many benefits including deterring illness and boosting healing. Some of the best plants for your home include Boston ferns, palm trees, rubber plants, and English ivy. Take a field trip to your local nursery and allow your children to choose their favorite plant.

Eat fresh fruits and veggies. Boost your family's health and hydration by eating plenty of in-season, organic, water-filled fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Planting a garden is a fun way to get the kids involved and excited about eating healthy foods.

Play outside. Exercise doesn't have to involve joining a team or adopting a formal regimen. By playing outside with your kids, such as throwing a ball or taking a bike ride, you'll make great memories and get exercise as a bonus.

Breathe cleaner air. Regularly use a quality air purifier to clean the air in your home from airborne particles that trigger allergies and breathing issues. Try the Winix HR1000, one of the first Wi-Fi enabled air purifiers available at www.homedepot.com. This air purifier pairs with the Winix Smart app that works from your iOS and Android smart phone or tablet to control the unit from anywhere. Get your children involved in learning about your home's indoor and outdoor air quality by using the app's features.

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