Keeping your family healthy is sometimes easier said than done, especially in a world full of easily obtainable sugary snacks and the tendency to spend hours behind a screen every day. However, you’ll find it worth trying to stay healthy as a family!
When everyone is in the challenge together, you’ll help your kids to create great habits to carry into adulthood. You’ll all feel a lot better if you eat well and exercise regularly. Try the following tips to keep healthy as a family.
Create a home gym
If your gym is at home, you’ll have no more excuses not to exercise! A home gym is a great solution when it comes to exercising as a family, since kids often aren’t allowed in regular gyms, and they’re more likely to feel more comfortable exercising at home rather than in a public space.
Creating your own gym means you can customise your equipment and accessories to the needs of each family member: if your partner prefers to run or cycle, you could install a machine specifically for cardio exercises, while if you’re more partial to building muscle, you could dedicate a corner to weightlifting.
In a gym for kids – you might like to consider jump ropes, small trampolines, and mats for stretching. Here, you’ll be able to work out as a family. If your kids are very young, start slow and treat exercising as a game rather than a chore – try completing ‘routines’ to their favourite music. For safety, you might also like to lock the room when it’s not in use, to avoid inquisitive children injuring themselves on machines.
The best way to get kids interested in what they eat is to allow them to prepare their own meals – or at least to help you while you cook. You might like to sit down as a family every Sunday and plan your meals for the week before doing your grocery shopping together, too – it’ll help give the kids a basic idea of how meal planning and cooking works. If your kids are initially unsure about your new healthy meals, let them choose their favourite out of a set of recipes – this way, they’ll still feel like they’re getting to make a choice.
Hold each other accountable
Remember when your kids were toddlers, and you gave them a star on their fridge chart for every night they managed to sleep without getting up to disturb you in the middle of the night? You might like to try doing the same thing now, albeit for more grown-up goals.
Create charts for each member of the family and nominate another member to check whether they’ve completed set tasks, such as finishing their vegetables or going for a daily walk. The kids will love being in charge of their parents, even if the control is minimal, and they’ll be more likely to keep up with their healthy habits if they know they’ll be rewarded.
Encourage exercise when you’re out and about
If you’re spending a day out together as a family, you’ll have plenty of chances to model healthy behaviour for your kids rather than simply telling them about it. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk short distances rather than driving, and take short walks after meals rather than heading straight home.
Keeping healthy as a family doesn’t have to be a chore. Exercise can be a great bonding activity, and planning meals together is an easy way to give kids more control over their routines. Set good examples and model healthy habits for your children, and you’ll be helping to set them up for successful adult lives.
About the author
Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves anything related to exercise and a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys trying different workout routines every week and has previously produced articles for fitness sites such as JumpFlex. Find more of Johanna’s work here.