Family Means Being in it Together

by Angela Yorke | May 9th, 2011 | Eating Tips, Family Fitness, Nutrition, Running

Like life, fitness is a marathon. You have to put in continual effort to ensure that your health doesn’t become a liability during your twilight years; however, a lot of the information a fitness enthusiast finds is usually geared towards individual activity. What happens when you want to motivate your whole family to adopt a more active lifestyle?

It’s easy to get kids involved with fitness, because all children can’t sit still. Planning activities is also easy if everyone is on board; however, the same cannot be said of families that have teens who’d be far happier in front of a screen, or parents who believe that exercise is for anyone younger than they are.

As a parent or child concerned about your loved ones’ fitness, you have to remember to keep the focus positive and on them (“You’ll feel so energized after this walk!”) rather than negative and on yourself (“Why do you make it so hard for me to help you?)”. Simple, but you’d be amazed at how easily and quickly it is to develop a martyr complex when things don’t go your way.

One method to increase family awareness of the importance of fitness is by having meals together more often at home. Children who share a minimum of five family meals weekly tend to develop better eating habits and are less likely to be overweight than those who don’t.

If your parent(s) is averse to fitness, family meals are your chance to make a difference. You can always start off with weekly meals and work your way up from there. Chances are your family will eventually come around, especially if they’re involved in the entire process – from shopping and preparation to cooking.

Another way to get family involved in fitness is to involve them in your fitness routine, such as by asking them to keep track of the number of laps you make around the block, or ask them what they think you should do to break seven minutes per mile. Disingenuous, yes, but eventually curiosity or sheer competitiveness will win out, and they will want to see just what’s so great about this exercise thing.

Getting your family involved in fitness, especially if you’re starting from scratch, is not something that will be achieved in a week. Stick to your guns; they can’t un-relative you, and they can thank you for it later.

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