There are many benefits to living a healthy lifestyle. Living a healthy lifestyle as a parent will insure you have the energy and stamina to properly care for your family while setting a good example for the kids. Teaching your children at a young age that living a healthy lifestyle is a way of life will benefit them into adulthood. I see this with many of the families I work with as well as with my own children. They have accepted that having a positive mindset, eating healthy and exercising regularly are a way of life. Following are simple lifestyle changes you can incorporate into your families everyday life.
- Start young – teach your children the importance of regular exercise, healthy eating and positive thinking. The earlier you start the more natural it becomes and you won’t have to work at reversing unhealthy choices.
- Lead by example – children look to us as parents to be their role model. If we are eating healthy, have a positive mindset and are exercising they are more likely to join us and/or engage on their own. It’s also important to explain that while we may not be perfect everyday, it’s ok because consistency overtime is what is important.
- Include your children in physical activities for the family – pick activities everyone can enjoy (playing frisbee, walking, playing with the dog, riding bikes, hiking, playing a sport, etc.)
- Limit technology – limit time in front of the TV, computer and cell phone. Too much time spent here can create a sedentary lifestyle which can lead to becoming overweight and/or obese.
- Group sports/activities – encourage your children to participate in team sports and/or group activities. This will get them moving as they have fun. It can also improve their socialization skills while making new friends.
- Make time for healthy family time – you can sign the family up for 5K walks or other events that help support a great cause while bringing the family together for a heathy activity.
- Breakfast – Be sure everyone eats breakfasts as it is one of the most important meals. It will get the metabolism going while helping to improve energy and concentration for the day ahead.
- Preparation of meals – include your children so they can learn how to prepare on their own. You will also teach proper portion sizes while having the opportunity to explain the importance of choosing healthy foods. Also, eating together is a great habit that can create quality family time and insure everyone eats at an appropriate time.
- Food shopping – include the kids in food shopping as it’s a great opportunity to reinforce healthy food choices and they can help pick what they eat. You can also teach them how to read food labels. Be sure to select foods that limit sugar and unhealthy fats.
- Annual checkup – schedule at least one annual check up for the family to monitor weight, cholesterol, sugar, and other important health factors.
- Proper sleep – an average amount of sleep needed is 9-11 hours. This can vary by age. As we get older less sleep is needed. Proper rest can improve energy, concentration, memory, learning and help to repair the body.
Begin practicing and sharing these tips with your family today. It will begin to improve everyone’s health, energy levels, concentration and self confidence while reducing the chances of becoming overweight and/or developing chronic health conditions.
Note: Please consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise, nutrition or health program.