Adopting a healthier lifestyle may be difficult, but it is not something you have to do on your own. In fact, integrating your whole family on the journey will not only be beneficial to everyone’s overall health, but also give you opportunities to bond and inspire one another.
My daughter comes with me to my exercise group with fellow moms who also bring their kids. For the most part, she plays with the other kids. But she also, at times, wants to work out with me.
She’ll see me doing squats or running in place and start doing the same. Other times, she’ll dance around me in excitement. Having her there by my side motivates me to get through each workout.
Recently, my husband and I have also started exercising together, and it has not only allowed us to get healthier together, but also helped us to connect more as we challenge and encourage each other.
While working out with your family is one way to get healthier together, there are many other fun and simple ways to do so. Here are some ways to keep in mind:
Cook healthy meals together.
Get out a clean eating cookbook and have each family member choose a couple of recipes they like. Then meet together and plan a menu for the week of healthy dinner recipes.
Try and cook a few of them together, teaching your kids along the way about the benefits of eating meals that incorporate more vegetables and fruits. This will teach your kids the valuable life skills that come with cooking, and give you plenty of quality family time.
After cooking, you can sit at the table to enjoy the meal you have cooked together.
Go on walks.
The health benefits of walking are endless, both physically and mentally. Taking a walk with your family after a long day could be just what you all need to de-stress, decompress and take a bit of a break from the daily routine.
It also allows time for you and your kids to laugh, talk and enjoy each other’s company as you spend a relaxing time in the outdoors.
Go over that importance of drinking water.
Teach your kids about why it is important to drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If possible, get a reusable water bottle for each family member and go over how many times they should refill it daily to drink the optimal water intake of eight 8-ounce glasses a day.
Take time to meet as a family to talk about goals each person has in regards to their health and fitness. Of course, goals for yourself and your spouse will differ from those of your children, but it allows for an opportunity to motivate one another. It’s also important to remember that there are ways to meet your goals, even if they are different, together.
So if your goal is to lose weight and your kids’ goals are to make the soccer or basketball team at school, go to the park and practice with them. If your son or daughter wants to learn how to ride a bike and you want to be more active, teach them and ride a bike alongside them.
Plan family activity days.
Set aside time to brainstorm ideas for family days that incorporate physical activity, whether that be heading to a local trampoline park, going to the beach to play volleyball and go swimming, or going to the park to play a sport together.
This offers plenty of time for exercising and connecting as a family.