Do you know that one family that always seems to keep so healthy and trim? What is it about their lifestyle that you are not doing to keep your family fit? More often than not it is simply a matter of having a more thorough health education. Here are seven ways you can educate yourself and your family to make health and fitness a priority.
1. Work as a Team
In order to get the whole family involved, you need to increase their buy-in. Giving everyone a voice leads to greater participation. Sit down as a family to discuss your lifestyle choices and set some healthy goals you can work towards as a team.
2. Don't Starve
Most diets are very restrictive, and result in people simply eating less. When you do not eat right, your body initiates production of the hormone Ghrelin which causes you to become insatiably hungry. The result is that you end up over indulging on unhealthy foods when you could have simply had plenty of healthy snacks, such as almonds or carrots, throughout the day.
3. Automate Meals
As Americans, we are infamous for skipping the most important meal of the day. The reason breakfast is so important is because it is the first thing you have eaten in 8-9 hours, and determines your hunger levels throughout the whole day. Instead, pick a few staples for breakfast and lunch that are quick and easy, and eat those every day. Use dinner as your meal to get creative.
4. 30 Minutes a Day
Try to get 30 minutes of exercise every day, if you can at your home. If you have to drive somewhere to exercise, you make it more difficult on yourself to keep up with it every day. If need be, split up the 30 minutes into two sessions of light, gentle exercise like walking, running, cycling, body weight resistance exercises, and weight training.
5. Be The Decision-Maker
When it comes to food, whatever you buy your children will eat. If you buy them chips and cookies, they (and probably you, too) will eat them. After this, if you try to restrict them, it will cause them to crave those unhealthy foods even more. Instead, avoid bringing those foods into the house to begin with. Keep fresh fruit and vegetables chopped in the refrigerator, and have nuts, pretzels, and other wholesome snacks on hand.
6. Eat Dinner Together
The simple ritual of sitting down together as a family for a nightly meal places a priority on nutrition and proper eating habits in your family values. Additionally, this simple act has been shown to improve parent-child relationships, and increase academic performance.
7. Play Together
An important part of your exercise regime, should be pure, unadulterated play. Whether that means putting on music and dancing around, kicking a soccer ball around, rough-housing or anything that brings out your inner child.