Healthy Family Lifestyle Tips
My story with being interested in fitness began at the age of 16. Since I always aim to be honest, I have to tell you that it started in a negative way, much like how I imagine other teenage girls stories go. I had always been active; I played competitive tennis growing up, swam on the swim team, and had a bout with playing volleyball. When one of my friends decided to stop eating meat and watch fat, I jumped on board. She convinced me to start exercising (as my tennis schedule was slowing down), so I did. Both of these actions took on negative aspects for a while, but as I grew older, I turned them into positive thoughts and actions. Now with four kids, it’s my job to make sure that not only am I a healthy mom, but that I make sure we have a healthy family lifestyle in our home.
I want to be fit.
Have you ever said these words? People are all starting from different areas. Perhaps you excel in some, and have work to do in others. Regardless of where you are – there are five areas that can help you achieve success:
- Exercise daily
- Eat the right foods for you
- Drink enough water
- Make sure to get enough sleep
- Stay motivated and check in with how you are feeling
One of my biggest beliefs when it comes to being healthy and living a fit life is that everyone is individual. When it comes to food and exercise, what works for me may or may not work for you. And that’s okay! I know that many of us (including myself, sometimes) wish that there was a one-size-fits-all scenario. Unfortunately there is not. Each of us have our own make up and so with that, we need to honor ourselves, and listen to our bodies, to find out what works best for us. Oh, and to keep it interesting – this will evolve over time.
Stay fit for life.
It’s one thing to get healthy and fit at whatever age you are at right now – but always remember that you want to sustain this for life. Getting healthy is not a short term thing.
My eldest daughter was a competitive gymnast for years. I absolutely loved going to her practices and meets and watching her flip, turn and fly. But as the number of ankle braces and crutches kept appearing in the gym, it became apparent that this would not be sustainable lifelong. I encouraged her to try another sport, one that wouldn’t injure her and one that would allow her to be active for life. This is the goal for all of us, and as mentioned above, our abilities may ebb and flow over time. Regardless of what stage you are at, there are some basic principles (see the resemblance to up above) that can help you to stay on track:
- Get enough sleep
- Drink adequate water
- Eliminate, or at least minimize sugar
- Be mindful of what foods you eat
- Cook most of your meals at home to know what’s in them
- Manage your stress levels
- Be body aware – listen to what it’s telling you
- Practice self care
- Move your body, and vary that ways that you do this
Stay fit and healthy at home.
Are you a stay at home or work at home mom who wants to be fit? Do you find it challenging to get active around the house? Even if you can’t make it to a gym – there are plenty of ways to stay active and fit even at home.
The first thing you need to do is to get a schedule that works for you. I know that it’s easy to say that we don’t have time – but honestly, it comes to prioritizing. Taking care of yourself will help you feel better, it will help you increase your confidence, and it will help you parent better; at least that’s what I found! Perhaps you get up an hour (or more) before your kids do and get time to exercise then. Another option, which is a solid one for many moms, is to exercise when the kids are napping. And finally, if you are a night owl, after putting the kids in bed you can absolutely bust out a good workout.
Exercising or somehow keeping moving with your kids is also an option. For moms with littler ones, put them in the jogging stroller and take walks, jogs, or a mixture of these. I used to do simple exercises like squats, lunges, pushups and sit ups with my babies nearby. If you have toddlers or elementary aged children, take them to a park with a walking trail, or walk alongside them as they ride their bike. The key is to keep moving, but to also find what type of movement you enjoy so as to keep yourself motivated. Sometimes throwing on some upbeat music and dancing with your baby or child can be super uplifting and fun!
Healthy lifestyle for kids and families
It seems that with the advance of technology, maintaining a healthy family lifestyle can get more and more difficult. In visiting public places, such as restaurants, airplanes and shopping centers. Helping kids and families maintain a healthy lifestyle may take a little bit more work these days, but I do believe that it’s worth the effort. Some efforts that I’ve found to be helpful include the following:
Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast can set everyone up for a good day.
Serving each meal with at least one fruit or vegetable; ideally everyone will have one of each.
Incorporating the kids in either helping prepare one meal or recipe each week, or helping to wash and cut (depending on age/ability) vegetables.
Eating dinner together as often as possible.
No screens allowed at the dinner table (and elsewhere as determined by you).
Play together as often as possible. Aim for daily. This can be playing a game outside, taking a walk, heading to the swimming pool, or whatever fits your fancy.
Keeping a solid bedtime routine. This should include consistent bedtimes which take into consideration the right amount of sleep for each person, depending on their age.
Building a mindful environment. While the rate of kids anxiety is on the rise these days, it’s even more important for parents to help children learn meditation and other forms of stress management. In all honesty, this is a work in progress for me personally. I am to meditate but have been failing to do so for years. I definitely have work to do in this area!
Health tips for children
My personal philosophy with my four children is that I can educate them and give them a solid foundation. What they do with this as they make their choices later on in life is going to be up to them. But it’s our job as parents to give our kids a solid understanding of how to live as healthfully as they can. This includes:
- Teaching children what types of foods are better choices than others
- Helping kids understand how to read food labels
- Working with our kids to teach them how to cook
- Taking kids grocery shopping so they can make the best choices and learn a lifelong skill
- Encouraging kids to stay active
- Practicing positive self talk
- Managing screen time
- Staying active together as a family
Keep in mind that most of these things don’t happen overnight. I know that for many of these, my family is a work in progress! I excel in some areas but others can be challenging. The key is to not give up. Remember – build that healthy foundation for your kids that they can always come back to.
Don’t give up.
Achieving a healthy family lifestyle doesn’t happen overnight. And sometimes when you think that you’re there, something happens that can throw you off track. Practice patience and forgiveness, and keep trying. The biggest piece of advice that I can give you is to not give up, even when you are frustrated. You owe it to yourself; you deserve the time and outcomes of taking care of yourself. And you’re setting your kids up for a healthy lifestyle as they grow older. Please reach out to me if I can help you at all. I’m just another mom who’s standing behind you supporting you.