Family Fitness Habits to Practice

by Angela Yorke | October 24th, 2011 | Family Fitness

Getting your family to live more healthily isn’t just about getting 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week, although that’s a great way to go about it. One of the major misconceptions about fitness is that you only have to incorporate regular physical activity into the daily family routine, and everything else will take care of itself.

Of course, this is like trying to lose weight by just exercising every day. The approach to improving your family’s fitness has to be holistic. This means changing eating habits that are less than ideal. Rather than imposing an outright ban on junk food though, which will lead to rebellion and failure, the soft option would be to present snacks that are more healthful, such as providing a variety of fruits instead of candy. Similarly, stop buying sweetened drinks, and encourage the consumption of plain water.

Another lifestyle change to make is to have breakfast together. If you’re uncertain of why breakfast is important, just know that skipping breakfast makes it harder for a person to lose weight. It’s not that it slows down your metabolism, preventing you from burning as many calories as you should, it’s just that it sets you up to make unwise food decisions during the day, because you’re starving.

Changing TV or video game habits will also facilitate family fitness efforts. If access to the screen is limited, then this allows more time for everyone to fit in a family workout, and wind up healthier as a result.

At the same time, these changes will be of no avail if you don’t take your own advice. If you have a habit of snacking mindlessly, you can’t expect the youngsters in your family to obey your directives while you’re reaching out for another chip, even if it is low-fat and oven-baked. Thus, if you say that fruit and vegetables are good for the kids, then you yourself should have healthy eating habits.

Likewise, if you tell your family that there’s no excuse not to exercise regularly, then it would look pretty hypocritical to a teen if you cancelled an early-morning run, because you kept hitting the snooze button on your alarm!

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All health and fitness information is provided for educational purposes. Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.