Healthy Lifestyle: 5 secrets to an active, happy family

A healthy lifestyle is not rocket science. The fact that you are here on the ZisBoomBah blog is probably a pretty good indicator that you already know what’s essential to raising a healthy, happy family — good food with real ingredients, regular physical activity and empowering children with the knowledge they need to make their own healthy choices. Yet, for most of us, living a healthy lifestyle is something we need to be intentional about, all the time. It doesn’t just happen. Sometimes we may lose focus and slip into a way of daily life that doesn’t feel good anymore after a while. That’s when dinner is served from the microwave in a rush, kids snacks are chosen on impulse from the display by the supermarket register and physical exercise is limited to short sprints between the bedroom and the laundry room …

Whether you want to kick your family’s healthy lifestyle up a notch in time for the new school year or you’ve finally decided to start making health and fitness a top priority for the first time, these five strategies from ZisBoomBah’s healthy lifestyle experts will help you be the active, happy family you’ve always wanted to become. So curb the excuses and start living healthier today, with gusto!

1. Have Healthy Family Routines Routines are your best buddy when it comes to creating a healthier lifestyle for you and your kids! Why? Healthy activities that are performed regularly become default behaviors, without much deliberation. A routine that’s solidly rooted in your family’s typical way of life is much less vulnerable to falling by the wayside as soon as things get a little stressful or you’re tired. A family walk after dinner, for instance, is a great habit to establish. And how about starting your day right with a nutritious breakfast for everyone? { Read: Morning Glory: Smart tweaks turn ordinary breakfasts into nutrient-packed meals. } Drinking plenty of plain water to stay hydrated throughout the day is another essential routine for a healthy body, especially a growing body. { Read: 5 Tips for Getting Children to Drink Plenty of Plain Water. }

2. Inspire and Motivate Your Family (someone has the be the cheerleader) The road to becoming a healthier and more active family can be obstructed with obstacles, big and small, from a husband who doesn’t want to participate to a sensitive child who struggles with adapting to change. ZisBoomBah’s close advisor James O. Hill, Ph.D., who is Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, Colo. and one of the country’s leading experts on childhood obesity, offers guidance on how to overcome these obstacles to a healthier family lifestyle. Someone has to be the cheerleader, the one who motivates every single family member to contribute to your new health, fitness and nutrition goals. { Read: Healthier Family Lifestyle: Five Steps to Motivation (the 5 R’s) and Triathlon Mom: Parents have the power to inspire kids to participate in athletics. }

3. Be a Smarter Grocery Shopper You may wonder … What are healthy groceries for my family? Where do I find the freshest, real food? What’s a smart strategy for speed-reading the nutrition facts on the labels while shopping? To help you see past the colorful packaging, end-cap displays and crazy ingredients, ZisBoomBah has created a helpful grocery shopping guide to help you make the best choices at the grocery store. To get a head-start on shopping for the healthy groceries you truly want your family to eat, always make sure to have a grocery shopping list so you can avoid impulse buys. { Read:  and 10 Easy Kids Meals Made from 25 Healthy Grocery Must-haves. }

4. Get Outdoors and Get Moving You know what’s great about the great outdoors? Spending time together outside keeps children (and parents!) away from all the temptations that are lurking at home — TV, iPod, iPad, computer, the fridge, the pantry … On a short morning hike recently, my 7-year-old daughter and her friend lugged river rocks from the bed of a shallow creek to the shore only to throw them back in and start over. The girls kept doing this for almost an hour. In their minds, they were just being silly, getting wet and muddy. In my mind, they got a full-body workout while staying cool on a hot summer day. Watching them reminded me how important it is to be deliberate in creating opportunities for this kind of active child play. Many of us grew up spending all our summer days playing outside like this. But sadly, our own children miss out on enjoying this kind of freedom today — unless, we take the drive and drop them into nature, where they can be kids. { Read:  }

5. Use Online Tools — You Need All the Help You Can Get! Involve your children in setting healthy goals for themselves and the whole family! What do they want to achieve? Use online tools to track their progress or motivate them to keep participating. For instance, have you tried ZisBoomBah’s Challenger Calendar? It’s a great free online game for kids and parents to manage goals and tasks, and track everyone’s progress. Children love to earn ZBB point for completing activities. They can use their ZBB points to dress up their antvatar! Geopalz is also a great tool for tracking walking for kids, and Lift is a shoe in for adults to track progress and get the support of friends and family. 

Kickstart Your Healthy Lifestyle in Time for Back-to-School! ZisBoomBah has an amazing new e-book that includes easy-to-follow healthy tips and daily ideas for physical activities children and parents can complete together: “21 days to a Healthier Family,” created by our health and nutrition experts. This healthy eating and fitness program includes everything from grocery shopping tips to fun games for families you can repeat to see how you improve over a 3-week period.  This resource is a must for all families who want to move more and eat healthier! 

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