Great nutrition and fitness levels are difficult to achieve on your own. But, when you add picky kids, late nights at work, and extracurricular activities into to mix, chaos ensues. How are you supposed to help your entire family stay fit and healthy?
Believe it or not, it’s not an impossible task. In fact, the following 7 tips can help you get started:
Tip #1: Hold A Family Meeting
To get everyone invested from the very beginning, hold an honest conversation with your family about fitness goals. When everything is in the open, put your heads together and come up with fun activities and meal ideas that everyone can enjoy.
Tip #2: Find Ways to Be Active Everyday
The ultimate goal is to find ways to get active for at least 20 or 30 minutes every day. Some fun family-friendly activities include:
- Games like jump rope, tag, catch, or baseball
- Bingo math at home is an alternative way for your entertaining evenings.
- Walking, whether it’s at the local track or before entering the grocery store
- Bike riding
- A workout DVD that everyone will love for bad weather days
- Enrolling in a family friendly yoga class
And, for those days when it’s impossible to be active as a family, use fitness trackers to help everyone remain accountable. You can even turn it into a fun game. For instance, consider having a contest to see who walked the most steps. Give the winner a prize.
Tip #3: Incorporate Yoga into Your Daily Lives
Many of us already know the benefits of a personal yoga practice i.e. reduced stress, stronger muscles, etc. But, did you know that a family practice can help bring kids and parents closer together?
To begin your family yoga practice here are some things to keep in mind:
- Establish a routine
- Have fun and keep things lighthearted
- Use resources (like books, yoga cards, etc.) to make yoga practice more kid friendly
- Get proper accessories like yoga mats and unique yoga clothes to ensure that every practice is comfortable and goes smoothly
Tip #4: Stop Smoking
Watching your weight and eating healthy are great ways to live a healthier life. But, if you are a smoker, all your efforts will be for naught. In fact, smokers are in worse physical shape than those whose only healthy habit is to stay away from cigarettes.
But, there is good news – it’s never late to stop smoking. Furthermore, taking this step can help reduce your risk of a number of health issues like:
- Heart disease
- Fertility problems
- Tooth loss
- Gum Disease
If you are not sure of your ability to stay away from cigarettes -buck up – there are several resources available to help you quit like:
- Pharmacists, nurses, and general practitioners can provide you with tips, encouragement to help you quit smoking
- Nicotine replacement therapy using lozenges, tablets, patches, inhalers, sprays, electronic cigarettes, and gums can help reduce cravings
Tip #5: Get Your Zzz’s
Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours for adults and 6-13 hours for school-aged children) is a vital part of optimal health. It is during this time that our body resets itself and gets prepared for the day ahead.
But, when it’s hard for you or your kids to retire at night, you can lose out on these benefits. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to make catching some zzz’s easier than ever before:
- Try meditation and yoga before bedtime
- Keep TVs and other electronic devices out of bedrooms
- Make sure you choose the right mattress both for you and your children, because the right mattress ensures your healthy and comfortable sleep.
- Eat a small bedtime snack made up of foods that help shift the mind and body into sleep mode like chamomile tea, whole grain cereal, etc.
Tip #6: Turn Chores into Fun Time
Turn cleaning your home into a fun game that you can all play together. For instance, you can time yourselves to see how fast the house gets spic and span. Try to beat your fastest times and each other. You can also play music while doing laundry and have the kids dance and sing while they help fold and put the clothes away.
Tip # 7: Plan Your Meals
Staying fit is essential for a healthy lifestyle but, if you don’t change your eating habits, your positive changes won’t be as effective as they could be. To make things easier, write a menu that follows the Nutritional Rule of Thumb. This rule states that each meal should consist of one part fat, 2 parts protein, and three parts carbs. And to ensure that kids are eating properly when they are at school, have them pack their own healthy lunches. Keep the balance between the fast food and the healthy one. Starting with preparing grills to vegetable salads, make the preparation process an important event for your family, not just a boring thing you HAVE to do.
Every family should have a wellness plan. Starting when the kids are young will help instill healthy habits that will follow them throughout their lives. Good luck and Namaste.