Healthy Habits

Celebrate Family Health and Fitness

Mom and daughter gardening together

Making time for a healthy lifestyle for yourself can feel overwhelming, let alone encouraging your family to join. The good news is making a few small changes can lead to healthy habits that require little thought or effort. Teach children to enjoy healthy living by engaging together in fun ways. Share healthy habits, such as sleep hygiene, physical activity, and nutritious meals, to make memories and habits that will last a lifetime!

Health and fitness as a family means everyone is engaged in the activity together, rather than caregivers leaving for the gym alone or a child being dropped off for sports practice. While these are great habits to create, make it a priority to do something as a group when possible.

Alongside making exercise and healthy habits more enjoyable, opting to engage as a family can offer a built-in support system to keep everyone motivated. It brings families closer by allowing them to share an experience together. Parents reap the benefits of spending quality time with their children, helping them form healthy habits. Meanwhile, when kids have a role model and learn to integrate health into their lives at a young age, they are more likely to maintain these habits throughout their lives. Other benefits include improving mood and self-esteem, relieving stress and anxiety, better sleep, and strengthening bones and muscles.

Here are some ways you can start creating healthy habits together as a family.

Identify free time for physical activity. Keep track of each family member’s daily activities for one week. You’ll get a snapshot of when you might be able to get the family together for physical activity. It can also help you see which activities you can cut back on.

Simplify your family’s schedule. Prioritize activities and see what you can eliminate so you’ll have more time for things that matter.

Take baby steps, not giant leaps. Making sure everyone in your home is happy and healthy can be daunting. Getting healthy is a journey and you don’t have to do everything at once. Take baby steps and focus on one thing at a time each week.

Ask everyone in the family to do their part. Choose age-appropriate things your kids can do to help prepare healthy meals or help around the house. Treat your family like a team and encourage everyone to work together.

Live by example. Explaining the science behind health and fitness, citing statistics, or painting visions of old age isn’t enough to motivate children to stay active. Model healthy behaviors for your family. Help them create healthy lifestyles by making healthy choices together.

Reference:
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/6-simple-steps-for-the-whole-family-to-be-heart-healthy

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