Raising a family isn’t easy, with everyone being so busy and sometimes on different pages. However, today, many children and adults are overweight or obese. By striving to have a healthy and active lifestyle, you can help maintain your weight and prevent certain health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
While it’s essential to start your healthy habits as early as you can, it is never too late to start the journey to getting fit and healthy. In this article we will go over a strategy you can use to motivate your family to become healthier, some healthy family habits to focus on, and some extra tips to help you on your family’s journey to a healthy and happy life.
YOU need to be committed to a healthy lifestyle
Before you can encourage your family members to take up a healthier lifestyle, you need to commit to one yourself. If you aren’t following a healthy, active lifestyle, what’s to say your family will follow one just because you tell them to? Commit yourself to getting in shape, eating healthy, and following a routine, whether you are supported by others or not. Your family members will make a note of the efforts you’ve made by the time you talk to them about it, making it more likely that they’ll follow in your footsteps.
Be considerate of the current state of your family members
Maybe you’ve noticed that some of your family members are unhealthy and out of shape. However, rather than criticizing them for their current state, encourage them, and show them proof of just how far they can go. You also can talk to them about why you have chosen to lead a healthy lifestyle and how doing so can help them as well. By avoiding criticism, your family members are less likely to be defensive and shut down your request.
Take baby steps
Just because you’re motivated to exercise and eat healthily, doesn’t mean your family will share your enthusiasm. Rather than forcing this new lifestyle on them, start slow. Go for a walk, start substituting unhealthy meals and snacks for healthy ones little by little, and perform some easy exercises together (or even take a class – Karate is a great way to get in shape!).
It can be hard for people to stay on track when it comes to getting healthy. Sometimes they can’t notice any changes, sometimes it can seem difficult to fit exercise into their daily routine, and sometimes they feel discouraged that they aren’t losing weight as fast as they expected to. Encourage them to keep going and stay by their side every step of the way. Motivate them not to give up, and soon they will see the changes they were looking for, ultimately leading them to keep moving forward. You can also offer them positive complements when these changes happen.
Healthy Family Habits
Make time to play together every day
It’s essential to set aside some time in your daily routine to have fun and play together as a family. Not only are you essentially working out together by dancing or catching a ball, but you’re also connecting on a mental level, enhancing your family connection.
Exercise every day
One of the most important factors of becoming and staying healthy is being active. You can be active in a gym or your own house. One great way to get yourself and your family in shape is through Karate classes. Not only will you shed some extra pounds, but you and your family will also learn lessons and fundamentals that will help you outside of class.
Eat dinner together every night
Healthy foods and nutrients are essential for overall health, but just by sitting down every evening with the family, you can also improve mental health. Nothing beats sitting down together at the dinner table and having fun and meaningful conversations with your kids. Not only will your kids’ eating habits improve, but so will their grades and willingness to open up to you. If evenings don’t work out, try sitting down for breakfast together every morning instead.
Have a bedtime routine
Many people have a hard time either falling asleep or staying asleep, leading them to not get the adequate amount of sleep they need for a healthy and happy lifestyle. Having a bedtime routine can be good for everyone. Take this time to talk to your kids about what’s on their mind or read them a bedtime story. When you go to bed, make sure your bedroom is cold and dark. Shut off the TV and put down your cellphone. If you still have a hard time falling asleep, try getting out of bed to meditate or read a book.
Approach changes and challenges as a team
If you want your family to stay healthy and fit, you’ll need to build a strategy and stick to it. Make healthy choices as a family, stay together, and encourage one another on your journey.
Extra Tips & Ideas
- Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Make sure your family is starting off with a healthy breakfast. If you don’t have time to sit down and eat in the morning because of work or school, try doing some meal prep, so you can grab and go.
- It’s important to let kids take part in some of the decision-making. Let them help you plan and prepare at least one meal per week.
- Try to eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Serve a variety of different foods and reduce serving size as needed.
- Use healthy oils in place of vegetable oil. Some healthy alternatives include sunflower, olive, and canola oil.
- Choose healthy, nutrient-rich snacks that will provide you or your kids with energy.
- Don’t force your children to finish their plate, and do not reward it either. If your children are still hungry, let them ask you for more.
- When rewarding children, do it with praise rather than food.
- Include physical activity with your family in your daily routine. Take a walk, dance, play tag, shoot some hoops, go for a swim, or take part in karate.
- Figure out your daily caloric needs and balance what you consume with what you burn.
- Limit screen time to less than 2 hours per day and encourage physical activity in its place.
- Be a role model and try to better yourself every day.
Talk to Your Doctor
Before changing up your lifestyle, talk to your doctor. Your doctor or nutrition expert can help you determine the number of calories you and your family should be having each day, recommended physical activities, and any health- or weight-related conditions that may affect you or your family.