Eating well, engaging in physical activity and spending quality time with family are integral parts of living a healthy lifestyle. Children tend to follow in the footsteps of their parents, so setting an example with healthy behaviors early is critical.
Make eating healthily simpler by stocking the refrigerator with low-fat yogurt snacks and keeping fruit and vegetables close by; additionally, make dinner time an eventful family celebration.
1. Eat Healthy
Your best way of helping your family remain healthy is to provide them with nutritious foods, including proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables of high-quality. Make sure they get plenty of these important components while trying to limit processed food as much as possible.
Eating as a family provides the ideal opportunity to teach your children about their food's production process and discuss any concerns regarding their health that arise.
Keep in mind that your children's palates are still developing, so it is crucial that you continue introducing new foods until they fully accept them. Don't feel discouraged if they reject something they once enjoyed as this is normal and shouldn't discourage you.
As part of your household wellness plan, it's a smart idea to stock up on healthy snacks like fresh or frozen fruit, veggies, nuts and low-fat yogurt to reduce the time you spend running out to buy junk food when your kids become hungry.
If you plan on eating out frequently, aim to limit it to once or twice every week in order to limit how much fat your family consumes and make tracking calories easier.
Encourage your family to be active together by going for walks, bike rides and swimming - try getting at least 60 minutes of physical play or exercise every day - even during commercial breaks when watching television; maybe have fitness challenges during those commercial breaks as well or hold pushup or plank contests while playing video games; if any family members smoke - encourage everyone in it as well to quit smoking altogether!
2. Move More
Every family is unique, but aim for each member in your household to engage in at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity each day, even small sessions can add up over time and having regular opportunities to move can have significant health advantages!
Find activities that all family members enjoy doing together, whether that means joining an after-school sports team, taking dance lessons or going hiking together. Evening classes offer an effective way of making exercise enjoyable and fitting it into your busy schedule.
Encourage your family members to try something new like cycling classes or hula hoop competitions during commercial breaks when watching TV - they are more likely to continue with it if they enjoy it!
3. Be Active
Physical activity is vital to leading a healthy lifestyle, and families can help children get active by making it a family priority. Set aside at least 30 minutes each day of exercise as part of your family routine - such as walking after dinner, playing tag or basketball together at home, hiking a local nature trail or playing sports on weekends - or working out together at home together. Also ensure everyone gets between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night!
Parents and caregivers can set an important example by prioritizing physical activity as something worth investing time and energy into. When children witness adults enjoying themselves physically active, their likelihood of doing the same increases exponentially.
Plan family games and sports that allow people of various ages and abilities to join, like basketball, soccer, frisbee and volleyball. Based on weather conditions, arrange outdoor activities like swimming in summer and sledding or hiking during winter. Incorporate physical activity into celebrations by planning active parties - like bowling or obstacle course courses - inviting friends along.
Encourage your children to participate in school-based physical activity programs such as walking clubs or running groups, or sign your family up for community fitness classes at a gym or recreational facility. For an extra fun family adventure, plan a day hike or camping trip together - or create a "family fitness calendar" and place it where all can see it to encourage regular physical activity! Remember, good nutrition and regular movement go hand-in-hand; make both a priority in your household!
4. Be a Positive Influence
Though changing your family's health habits might appear daunting at first, it's easier than you think. Children tend to mirror what their parents do rather than say; so making healthy eating and physical activity a top priority will have them follow your lead. Furthermore, positive relationships within a family strengthen overall feelings of wellbeing while supporting positive lifestyle behaviors.
Healthy eating begins from infancy with breastfeeding and the introduction of nutritious foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Encourage kids under three years old to finish their food and not overeat by providing child-sized portions. Incorporating at least an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day - such as playing outside, joining a sport team or going for walks and bike rides is recommended by experts.
Limiting screen time is equally as essential, encouraging children to instead read books or play board games with you instead of watching television. Reducing screen time helps reduce risk of obesity as well as many health conditions including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and musculoskeletal issues.
If your family is finding it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle, consult with a health educator, dietitian or exercise physiologist. These professionals can offer much-needed clarity when it comes to all of the health information available today; plan and implement healthy habits for everyone within your household; as well as keep everyone accountable towards long-term goals with consistent motivation and accountability measures in place - something which health educators, dietitians and exercise physiologists excel at doing.
5. Spend Time Together
Families have plenty on their plate between school, work and social events - not to mention home maintenance - but it is vitally important that families make healthy choices together; children will more likely adopt healthy habits if they see their parents doing them; additionally, being supported by one's family often helps with managing stress more effectively and solving problems more easily.
Eating meals as a family is one of the best ways to ensure everyone is eating nutritious food in appropriate portions. Plus, this gives an opportunity to discuss any questions or issues regarding nutrition, cooking or health matters that arise during meal times.
Integration of physical activity into daily family life is another effective way to promote a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. Set aside some time each week for activities like soccer, biking or walking - or simply playing board games together during commercial breaks on TV! Family activities don't need to be expensive excursions either; simple things such as board games can serve the same purpose.
Sleep is an integral component of leading a healthy lifestyle for the whole family, as quality restorative sleep improves immunity, concentration, memory and mood. To maximize effectiveness of quality rest, develop a sleeping schedule including adequate wake-up and bedtime times as well as screen usage prior to sleep time. If you smoke cigarettes consider quitting; secondhand smoke exposure can contribute to lung disease in others in your household and illness in itself.
By setting an example for healthy living, you are helping all members of your family lead happier and healthier lives. The sooner you introduce heart-healthy habits into daily routines within your household, the easier they will become over time.