Making fitness fun for everyone
If you think back on childhood memories of happy family time, many of them probably take place over a good meal. Others probably take place in a swimming pool or tossing a ball to each other.
Family fun, good food, and fitness go together naturally. As our technology-focused culture trends toward increasingly sedentary family time, it’s more important than ever to make healthy family habits a priority.
We put together some tips to get the whole family involved in a wholesome lifestyle. Pick one to start practicing today and add new healthy family habits as you go.
Plan healthy family meals (and cook them together)
This habit takes the most forethought, as it requires meal planning, shopping for tasty ingredients, and prep time. But on the flipside, each of those steps has room for the whole family to take part in.
There’s something about having a hand in picking and preparing otherwise “yucky” vegetables that makes kids willing to give your new recipe a taste.
New recipes can be fun, but you can also take your family’s favorite recipes and look for ways to include more vegetables and cut out processed items.
Sit down together for healthy family dinners
Mindful eating begins at home. Instead of taking dinner in front of a screen or on the run, make it a point to enjoy meals at a casual pace with your family as often as you can. When food becomes a tool to help you and your family connect, rather than something consumed mindlessly when you’re caught up in other things, you can enjoy it more fully.
Turn off the screens during family time
Back to mindful eating, one of the biggest reasons Americans are more sedentary than previous generations is the amount of time we spend in front of televisions, computers, tablets, and phones.
Not only do screens fill time that might otherwise be spent moving, they fill time that might otherwise be spent connecting. Consider making a family agreement to set down or turn off screens during family mealtime and family activities so you can reap all the rewards of time together.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore! Especially when it’s part of family fun time. If you can take half an hour three days a week to get out and move with your kids, your whole family will be getting most of their recommended weekly exercise together.
Some family-friendly activities include swimming, bike riding, martial arts classes, playing catch or baseball, shooting hoops, walking around the neighborhood, and hiking.
Research has shown a correlation between the activity levels of mothers and their children, so letting your kids see you enjoy exercise is a great way to start setting a good example for their own fitness.
Change your restaurant protocol
Preparing healthy family meals is great, but in real life there will be busy evenings (or special occasions) that warrant trips to restaurants. One of the simplest ways to make eating at restaurants healthier is to decide ahead of time on a family protocol.
For example, maybe you’ll shift toward a family expectation that everyone orders water rather than soft drinks. Or maybe everyone will choose a side of vegetables or salad rather than fries. Small, healthy family changes like this can make eating on the go significantly better for your bodies.
Your family are your biggest fans
If you’ve struggled to reach your goal weight even with healthy habits like these, don’t feel like you’ve let your family down.
Your hard work and determination set an example for your kids to follow even if you’re not progressing the way you’d like.
If this sounds like you, it may be time to find out if you’re a candidate for weight loss surgery in El Paso. Many people have found bariatric surgery to be the key that unlocks a more active family lifestyle, as the rapid weight loss allows them to move without pain.
Weight loss surgery isn’t right for everyone, but if you’re struggling through a cycle of doing all the right things with little result and have a BMI over 35, it’s time to explore whether a gastric sleeve is a good option for you.
To find out if you’re a good candidate for weight loss surgery, give us a call today at 915-534-1051.