We all know about the importance of exercise in staying fit and healthy. While it’s not always the easiest thing to do, one way to go about it is to do exercise with your children. Studies on Mindful Living Network show how getting fit as a family is not only good for the body, but also for strengthening your relationship as a family as well.
After all, sharing exercise time, meals, and other activities with each other is the perfect excuse to bond. Plus, it’s much easier to live a healthy lifestyle when you’ve got others to cheer you on and hold you accountable.
That said, here are five things you can do to encourage everyone in your family to stay in tip-top shape.
Make meal preps a family activity
As a child, being presented with a plate of broccoli and being told to eat it “because it’s healthy” is not a very convincing argument. Instead, try to get the entire family cooking. The BBC Good Food website has plenty of simple and healthy foods you can start with, such as chicken casserole, sausage and leek pie, and pork and apple burgers. Having your kids be part of the cooking process is a great way to promote healthy eating habits while making it fun.
Eat healthy snacks
Whether you’re watching a movie or arranging a game night, snacks are essential. However, many packaged snacks are often mixed with too much sugar and other artificial ingredients. As an alternative, you can cook up your own snacks, or stock up on healthy ones—like nuts, pretzels, and fruits. If you want to pack some of these snacks for your children to bring to school, Olive Magazine suggests lunchboxes such as Ekobo’s, which can carry multiple snacks and comes with elastic straps to keep food from spilling out.
Go on family walks
Walking is often an overlooked form of exercise, but it’s an easy way to keep your children active. In fact, the NHS explains how a simple 10-minute daily walk can do wonders for a child’s bones, muscles, immune system, and overall mood. To get these benefits it can be as simple as walking to school instead of driving. And on the weekends, if you want to get your children out and about, go on long country walks as a whole family. It doesn’t matter if you have a toddler or baby, as iCandy’s guide to pushchairs notes how three-wheel models are great not just for urban environments, but natural terrains too. Don’t let the winter weather put you off. Many pushchairs today are especially designed for active families, which means there is no excuse.
Encourage your kids to minimise screen time
Today’s children are spending more time on their smartphones than ever before. And according to a study from Université de Genève, this is causing them to be physically inactive, thus compromising their health. Of course, it’s up to parents to encourage them to move. But instead of imposing a technology ban, encourage them to let go of their phones by presenting something more fun. For instance, you can play games like hide and seek or water gun fights in the backyard. After all, children naturally value the spirit of adventure, as previously discussed in our post ‘The Wonderful Outdoors – Promotion Healthy Minds in Children’.
Join a group class
If you’re serious about your fitness goals and would prefer some extra guidance, then a group class might be good for you and your family. With a trainer or instructor, you’ll be sure to do the exercises carefully and properly. Just make sure your children are wearing the proper attire. For instance, if you plan to do something that involves a lot of running, then reliable trainers are important. Runners’ World recommends pairs from New Balance, Saucony, and Salomon. That way, discomfort will be the least of your child’s worries.
As you can see, fitness doesn’t have to be a chore. If you do it with family, you may even enjoy more than just health benefits. So why miss out on this chance to bond and kick-start better habits for the year?