When it comes to getting into shape we often look at ourselves and find ways to get ourselves healthy again. However, our friends and family play a big role in the success of our healthy journey. Bringing your family along for a healthy journey can be hard at times. It is challenging to get everyone in your family motivated to get healthy. However, here are some tips that can help you along the way.
Make healthy food delicious. Many times when we embark on a healthily journey we eat food that is flavorless and dry. We usually don’t associate healthy food to tasting good so we do the complete opposite of delicious. This may work for a month or three however, over time you will revert to your old way of eating because it does not taste good. Your family is definitely not going to be on board if the food taste bad. So I recommend making your family favorites just subbing out the unhealthy ingredients. If you family favorite is mash potatoes and steak try sweet potatoes and salmon. If they love burgers, fries and an ice cream sundaes try Lettuce wraps with turkey meat, yam fries and homemade frozen blended bananas. There are tons of ways you can make your favorite family dishes healthy. It just requires thinking outside of the box.
Set the example. If your family consist of smaller children now is a good time for them to see you start moving. Most children copy what their parents do, not what they say. So if you start with a regular exercise regiment you are increasing the chances that your children will follow in your foot steps. Not only your children but your entire family will become inspired by your effort. Often being healthy draws a sharp line in the sand, it begs people to confront their unhealthy ways. Just by starting yourself you will start a chain reaction in your family.
Center holidays around an activity. Most family gathering and holidays are focused on food. The food is the star of the show. From thanksgiving to super bowl it is all about the grub. However, you can change that. This year I made an itinerary of activities for my family for Thanksgiving, so instead of getting excited about the food everyone was more excited about the activities. We did things like playing a family football game, to walking around to pick our Christmas tree to walking the local vineyards. Yes we ate good food, but we weren’t stuck in the house making plate after plate and gorging ourselves.
Educate and encourage. You can’t do what you don’t know how to do. Many times a family member that is apprehensive about living a healthier lifestyle is unaware of the benefits. Take time to watch documentaries about health with your family and show children the negative effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. If you get the younger generation convinced then chances are they will be an advocate for health. Also encourage exercise with all your family members. You can do this by creating a exercise chart for the family to keep track of progress; offering rewards for the amounts of veggies eaten or water drank. Be creative in your encouragement.
Getting healthy as a family is the best thing you can do for yourself and those loved ones around you. Implement some of these practices with your family to get them on a healthier path. What healthy things do you already do with your family? Have you inspired your family to get active? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.