Living a healthier family lifestyle is hard. It requires you to be harsh on yourself. You cannot eat what you want, you cannot stay up late, you cannot drink or consume harmful substances and you can’t go out partying as much anymore. It’s little wonder then, that so many of us just decide to avoid living healthy or at least, as healthy as we can.
It’s perhaps easier to just limit the damage we do to ourselves by watching what we eat and exercising some self-control. However, this only prolongs the inevitable demise of our bodies and our lifespan as a whole. It’s for this reason why we should begin, as an entire family, to boost each other’s confidence and resolve to start living a healthier family lifestyle. But how?
Nobody likes a nagger! It’s just the cold hard truth of the matter. Many people might think their nagging works because they eventually get their kids or their spouse to do what they want, but there is a distinction to be made. Are you convincing your loved ones to do what they should do, because they want to do it? Most likely, no. They are doing it because they want you to stop nagging them.
Make fitness fun: Rather than ask everyone to jump up and down doing jumping jacks or get on a treadmill, go for a bike ride through the park or forest. Play frisbee or perhaps volleyball in your backyard. Fitness doesn’t have to be exercise, it can be fun games and sports.
A family pastime: Get the whole family to make fitness a normal part of their day. Just 30 minutes of working out per day, could be the key to starting a mini-revolution within your family. So rather than driving to the vet, or the supermarket, how about walk? You could also go for a bike ride to the local barbers instead of driving everywhere. If the place you need to go to is within half a mile, then walk!
A reward system: For kids, you need to give them an incentive to workout. It has to be within a reward system. So, if your children have walked or jogged for the day, maybe they’ve worked out in the garden or just played a sport together, then give them something as a ‘well done’ prize. This could be extra pocket money, maybe that new jacket Martin wanted, or a new dress, or it could be simply a hug and verbal praise.
Use role models
Children especially, look up to role models. Adults usually keep some role models in their lives but they have developed their personalities and confidence enough, so that they can motivate themselves. However, kids need ‘stars’ to look up to and aspire to be like.
For example, you could use a star like Stephen Strasburg to show your children what hard work can get for you. He is a Major League Baseball pitcher that plays for the Washington Nationals. He’s only 32 years old but he is earning $36 million a year due to his contract with the team. He is also a 3-time all-star because of his pitching consistency and speed. So buy your kids a baseball glove and a baseball, and encourage them to try and pitch like him. Take them to baseball games in which their heroes are playing. Follow the team together on social media and write comments together.
For adults, you can use role models to boost your confidence too. For example, older men such as Arnold Schwarzenegger are still working out and have very muscular physiques. If they can have a sculpted body and suffer through the pain to look like they do, why can’t you? So what if you have a job and kids to raise, you can still find 30 minutes to do a few pushups surely! These few changes will easily create a healthier family lifestyle!
Let them choose
One of the ways you can get children to play an active role in their own healthy lifestyle, is to let them choose. So many parents are usually timid and even scared to allow their kids to choose what they eat. However, if you set them some boundaries such as, you can’t get a product with too much sugar, carbs, fat or salt, then they can slowly get used to knowing which food items in the store are healthy.
For example, the next time you go shopping with them, let them choose breakfast. Obviously, set a limit to the sugar per 100g. This means that most cereals are out of the question. So let them explore on their phones what items would fit this threshold. Things like Greek yogurt, honey, fruit and nut mix, feta cheese, hummus, bacon, eggs, quiche and fruit and cream mixes are all on the allowed list. These choices will help achieve a healthier family lifestyle!
Screen Time and Sleep
It’s so important to limit the smartphone screen time that your children have each day. There are plenty of apps that supply parental controls which will shut off the screen after a set amount of time. For example, if you only want your kids to have 2 hours of screen time each day, then you can set this in apps like FamiSafe, MamaBear or Checky.
Getting the right amount of sleep is also important for a healthier family lifestyle. With at least 8 hours of sleep you can recover from your day. This is especially true when you have had a workout. Your body will recover and repair in those crucial 8 hours. In fact, getting kids to bed on time is easier when they are tired. So if you focus on sticking to your workout routines, the easier it will be to close off the day without fussing, arguing, etc.
Living a healthy lifestyle as a family is a team sport. Everyone has to play the role and when you do, you give each other support. Give your children more choice when it comes to food they consume. Make fitness fun, by playing games instead of only exercising. Do these things and you will climb that mountain to a long healthy life, together!