It is a new year and time to refocus. Two of the most common resolutions made at this time of the year are around fitness and spending more time with loved ones.
Although this is Family Fit Lifestyle Month, healthy habits should be a lifelong journey. I recently asked my sons what life lessons they have they learned from me (risky question but I wanted to know). I was proud to hear some of things that they said. Both of them said that one of the important lessons was around eating right and exercising often. They said that it has helped them to be good athletes and to feel good. (So all that harping around eating their lunch and working hard at practise has paid off after all).
Parents are role models and we must follow through on what we say is important. My sons laugh at me when I try and flex my muscles in the mirror like they do, but they know that I am trying to take good care of myself. They see me involved in fitness activities where I am not naturally good at them. And they see me having fun anyways.
Beverly’s Hot Tips For Celebrating Family Fit Lifestyle Month:
- January 20 is Take A Walk Outdoors Day – Outdoor activities such as taking a nature walk together are a great way of keeping the family fit and spending quality time together
- Reward each other’s participation in fitness activities. Be each other’s cheerleader.
- Start a fitness diary and record how far or long each family member participated in an activity
- Be a positive fitness and healthy role model for your children. One disturbing study found that french fries were the most popular vegetable for 15-18 month old children. Children learn about nutrition from their parents. Set boundaries and limits so that it is easier for everyone in the family to make healthy food choices. (Appropriate portions for a typical dinner meal – plate 1/2 filled with fruits and veggies, 1/4 with protein and 1/4 whole grains.)
- Drink more water and limit beverages that add needless calories such as pop and artificial fruit juices
- Get more sleep. Children need between 9-11 hours and adults need on average 7-9 hours. Inadequate sleep leads to greater appetite, weight gain and lethargy
- Have fun. Fitness shouldn’t be boring or feel like drudgery. If it does that you haven’t found the right activities. Some of us prefer activities that we can do alone. Some of us need the watchful eye of a coach. Some of us prefer team settings. Fitness activities should be something that we look forward to.
This year, set a few goals for creating a healthier family.
If you have some strategies to share – comment on this posting!