In today’s fast paced world, it’s difficult to keep your family healthy. With so much going on, it’s tempting to choose fast food, skimp on sleep and choose sitting in front of the computer instead of exercising. Even if you feel that your family has a serious case of the couch potato mentality, take heart. There are simple steps every family can use to get on track to a healthier lifestyle.
1. Make It a Group Effort
Getting healthy as a family means that everyone has to be on board. Sit down around the kitchen table and talk about achievable health and fitness goals. These will vary depending upon the preferences of your unique family, but it’s safe to assume that you’ll be defining goals related to better eating, sleeping and exercise habits. Take your time when defining goals and give everyone an equal say. When everyone feels that their input is valued during the family discussion, they are more likely to be motivated to stick with any get healthy program.
2. Come Up with a Healthy Meal Plan
Don’t leave planning meals until the last minute. Get a calendar and get into the swing of planning ahead. If this seems daunting at first, then take meal planning a week at a time. Eventually, you’ll move up to planning a month at a time. In your family’s healthy eating plan, you’ll want to include three meals each day and an assortment of healthy snacks. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s a great way to avoid reliance on fast food and other unhealthy meal alternatives. If you plan ahead for your meals for a week or a month, you can grocery shop accordingly and have a wide variety of healthy foods from which to choose.
3. Get Active
A healthy diet is important, and so is getting some exercise. Some family members who are fitness minded might already be getting in solitary workouts that don’t involve the rest of the family. That’s a great habit, and one that should be continued, but it’s also valuable to exercise as a family. Make it a habit to go for a family walk after dinner or to go for bike rides on the weekend. Perhaps the family likes to shoot hoops after school or maybe everyone can sign up to run the same 5k race. The exact exercise program you choose isn’t as important as committing to being active together. This keeps motivation high because it reminds you that you’re doing this not just for yourself, but for your family as well.
4. Make a Plan for Sleep
Busy families have a tendency to stay up late and get up early. Lack of sleep can be seriously detrimental to your ability to function on a daily basis. Without proper sleep, students have difficulty concentrating at school and parents feel unproductive at work. Accordingly, this is the get healthy step that feels like a luxury.
However, good sleep is anything but a luxury. It’s a necessity that none of us can do without. Institute a family bedtime. Perhaps you establish that televisions, computers and other electronics must be turned off at a certain hour. Everyone would then begin their own preparations for bed. This might include brushing teeth, doing some yoga or making a to do list for tomorrow. Essentially, anything that helps you relax and unwind in advance of climbing into bed is on the agenda. This should minimize distractions and frustrations, fueling a peaceful atmosphere that is conducive to a good night’s sleep.
5. Create Opportunities for Family Time
Families are healthier and happier when they are communicating well and enjoying shared experiences. It’s easy to have each family member running in their own direction, but make sure to schedule some time every week that is just for the family. You could go to the park or just play board games. Regardless, this is a time to relax and reconnect. Your relationships with your family will be closer and richer, fostering an overall sense of well being for everyone in the family.
Ron Thompson writes for Del-Immune V, a unique probiotic supplement made from the lactobacillus rhamnosus which is a natural immune system booster.