Obesity is one of the biggest problems in the United States today and many families don’t follow regular exercise programs. It is often said that the family that plays together, stays together. This couldn’t be more true in the case of family fitness. Getting your family off the sofa and encouraging them to get moving can be a simple task.
Pay attention to what everyone in the family likes to do. If your sons and your husband like football, suggest a weekend excursion to the park for a game of flag football. If your daughter is an avid jogger, head to the trails. Even if your kids are more into video games than outside play, consider looking “dance pad” games that can be used on popular game consoles, which have been suggested to help in the weight loss process. This brings a whole new meaning to playing video games, and can actually be fun for you too. It’s not exercise, it’s play!
Your family’s fitness not only means exercise, but a change in the kitchen as well. It is time to throw out the chips and cookies and make healthy alternative choices. Snacks such as carrot and celery sticks, apples, seedless grapes, pretzels, air popped popcorn, and graham crackers make excellent choices. If available, your children will grab these snacks without a second thought. Fill your cabinets with these healthier snacks and you might find yourself surprised that your family doesn’t even notice the difference! Replacing sodas with bottled water and organic fruit juices while you’re at it can help your cause. Don’t buy diet sodas – they’re loaded with sodium!
Subtle changes in your family’s eating habits can have long lasting effects. It is never too late to make a healthy change for you and your family. But be discreet! If you tell your children that you’re making a change to the family eating habits, they are less likely to accept it, rather than not even questioning the change when grabbing a snack.
Taking care of your family is important, and family fitness is the way to do that. You are your children’s greatest example. If you follow a steady, healthy pattern, your children are just as likely to continue this pattern once they are on their own. Just don’t forget to make the habit fun! Everyone is far more likely to be eager and accepting of the change if it is fun.