Establishing a healthy lifestyle routine for yourself requires dedication, and is even more challenging to do as a family. But the benefits make the effort worthwhile, as everyone will be happier and have fewer health issues.
You may struggle to get your whole family on board, but the best way to start is by modeling a healthy lifestyle routine. This can help motivate family members to do their part. A healthy, active lifestyle can help the whole family to maintain a proper weight and prevent health issues.
1. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals together
It helps to model healthy eating because your kids are watching you. The earlier you establish healthy eating habits, the more likely children are to embrace it and practice good eating habits even when not at home.
- Eat a healthy breakfast to provide energy for the day.
- Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains at each meal.
- Avoid unhealthy snacks like sodas and chips.
- Keep healthy snacks like nuts and fruit readily available.
- Get your kids to help prepare healthy meals.
- Try to eat together at a table rather than while watching TV.
Drip Hydration, SunQuest and Star Wellness offer Austin at-home lab testing to help you identify deficiencies so you can develop a wellness plan. Identifying any health issues in the family can help to optimize the overall wellness of each family member. For example, food sensitivity testing can identify what foods trigger inflammation and lead to discomfort, so that you can learn how to eat healthily and avoid triggers.
2. Make physical activity a family activity
There are many reasons to exercise, and doing it as a family can make it more fun. Exercise as a family doesn’t have to be strenuous or involve using equipment. It can simply be taking time to ride bicycles or going on a walk together. Playing outdoor games, such as basketball or tag, can be enjoyable for the whole family. When exercising together, set modest goals at first and make it a priority to achieve them. For example, start with a short walk together, and you can increase the length of the walk and the pace over time.
3. Prioritise quality sleep
When your kids are young, it is easy to enforce a specific bedtime. As they get older, establishing a healthy bedtime routine can be more difficult. Teaching your kids proper sleep hygiene can help them make better choices. For example, make sure they understand how blue screens can affect their sleep patterns, and encourage them to switch off electronics an hour before bedtime.
Sleep-deprived kids often get very wound up rather than slowing down, sometimes making it difficult for them to fall asleep at bedtime. Encourage kids to go to bed and wake up at a regular time every day. Not getting enough sleep can affect their overall health, behavior, and weight.
4. Prioritise family bonding
Modern technology makes it easy for family members to retreat to their own spaces. This lessens the time family members have to bond, communicate and be there for one another.
Establishing a regular family bonding time will help your kids develop more self-confidence, learn life skills, and can help prevent behavioral issues. Building strong, healthy relationships will enhance the whole family’s physical, emotional and mental well-being.
5. Limit screen time
Limiting screen time is important, but it can be a real challenge. If you decide to do it, you need to stick to your guns. One way to limit screen time is to avoid screens during mealtimes and family time. During family time, you can read books to your kids or play board games together. You may find your kids start to look forward to this time together rather than dreading having to be without their cell phones.
6. Show gratitude
Teaching your family to be grateful is something that will benefit them throughout their lives. You can create a gratitude jar for family members to put notes in when they are grateful for something. Reading the notes once a week at the dinner table could be uplifting for the whole family. You can also demonstrate gratitude through acts of service to the community.
7. Emphasise hygiene
Teach your kids the importance of hygiene from a young age. Practices such as brushing their teeth every morning and evening, flossing, and washing their hands regularly are simple yet effective habits. Cleanliness helps to protect them against bacteria and viruses, which can not only infect them, but the rest of the family.