Healthy families make physical fitness, sound nutrition and social interactions a priority, utilizing fun activities and enjoyable adventures.
- Parents who incorporate children into their exercise routine set a healthy example while eliminating the “I have to watch the kids” excuse. Take kids on a walk, run or bike through the neighborhood or incorporate children for exercises like pushups, squats, lunges, sit-ups and planks.
- Take an after-dinner walk or bike ride –Wind down the day spending a few minutes walking and talking after dinner as a family. This helps with digestion and eliminates the consumption of extra calories, while the social interaction creates powerful bonds and open lines of communication.
- Get involved with kids’ sporting activities. Rather than dropping kids off at practice, jump into the game or pool. If there is no way to get involved, use practice time to “practice” your own exercise routine.
The social interaction and nutritional knowledge gained by preparing and eating meals together is irreplaceable.
- Schedule dinner together at least 3-4 times a week. Add it to every family member’s calendar to ensure attendance.
- Teach kids the importance of having a balanced meal of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fat and minimally-processed carbohydrates.
- Involve kids in the grocery-buying process by allowing them to choose new, fresh fruits and vegetables and explain the difference between more healthy options and less healthy foods.
Spend time creating connections with each family member to ensure that each individual feels pursued, respected and important.
- Schedule play time with kids. Playing Legos or Barbies may not be the most enjoyable activity for an adult, but making this time a priority can mean the world to young children.
- Plan (and train for) an adventure vacation. The world abounds with fun, healthy adventures that will serve as a reminder to get and stay healthy.
- Create a date night and a family date night that are centered on activities rather than meals.
Written by: Andrew Craddick, Personal Trainer
About the Author
Andrew Chaddick holds a bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi and a master’s of science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas – Pan American. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a Certified Performance Enhancement Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. His expertise includes Strength Training for Endurance Athletes, Sport Performance Training and Goal Achievement for All Ages.