Healthy Family Healthy Life: 6 Ways to Encourage Healthy Family Habits

Encouraging the whole family to adopt a healthier lifestyle is no small feat. Most family members won’t be too excited about making changes like watching less T.V. and eating healthier food. Nonetheless, the advantages of leading a more active life are undeniable. By following these tips, it’s possible to feel more connected as a family and get glowing reports from the family doctor.

1. Stock Up for Healthy Snacking

When chips and candy are on hand, it’s only too easy to reach for them when hunger strikes between meals. Stock up on fruits and vegetables, hummus, whole grain crackers and peanut butter. Reserve the junk food for rare occasions and keep it out of the house or at least out of sight.

2. Plan Meals in Advance

Without a meal plan it’s very easy to choose the drive through or to pick up the phone for pizza. Make a meal plan for at least a week in advance, using the plan to guide trips to the grocery store. Everything necessary to make a healthy, well balanced meal is already on hand, so preparing meals will be just as convenient as fast food and probably a good deal healthier.

3. Share the Evening Meal

This is a tough one with families being so busy, but it’s an essential part of family harmony. Whenever possible, get the whole family involved in preparing dinner and insist that everyone sit together to eat it. Turn off the television and banish cell phones. This is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect and share the joy of being a family.

4. Make Weekends Active

Playing soccer at the park, going for a hike or riding bikes in the neighborhood are all great ways to get active. Best of all, every family member can be involved. Long range endurance exercise isn’t necessary, but getting off the couch and out of the house is invaluable to ensuring family health.

5. Regular Physical activity

In addition to weekend activities, be sure that you are incorporating regular exercise into your and your family’s schedule.  Look for sports and activities that the whole family can enjoy together, like Frisbee, play centers, and city league sports.  During colder months, indoor pools and swim lessons can be a great way for kids and families to stay active. Visit http://www.swimjim.com/ for more on swim indoor pools in your area.

6. Get Enough Sleep

Minimize crankiness by instituting regular bedtimes and sticking to them. Good sleep makes it possible to be energetic throughout the day and supports making healthy choices. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night.

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