While most parents focus on exercising and getting themselves into shape, getting fit should be a family experience. Even grandma and grandpa will enjoy eating healthy and working out when you make fitness fun. Too often people make getting fit more of a punishment for bad habits of the past. It shouldn’t be that way. Getting fit should be an adventure that leads down a road to looking and feeling great!
Start with healthy eating habits.
One of the things that really irritate me is to sit at a table in a restaurant with someone who is dieting. They make a big production of the things they can’t eat and then order a salad and a diet cola. They focus on the negative, instead of looking for healthier alternatives that are exceptionally good, including that salad. They often hide the flavor of the salad under a thick cover of dressing, too. Finally, even if they ordered a diet cola, that doesn’t mean it’s healthy or will make you look better. One study showed that people who drank diet colas gained inches in their waistline compared to those who drank no cola at all. Learn how to eat healthy and enjoy every meal. Make it a way of life.
Exercise should be enjoyable.
When was the last time you focused on how your body felt when you moved. Seriously, the next time your run or even walk, feel the freedom you have with each step. My grandmother used to tell me to appreciate each movement, because one day you might not be able to do it. That advice came after a debilitating stroke, so she knew what she was talking about. Exercise doesn’t always have to take place in a gym. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood or riding a bike.
Your kids will love the memories you make when you exercise with them.
Of course, that can mean you’re actually doing a workout routine, but in most cases, it means just doing active things together. Bicycles for the whole family doesn’t have to cost a lot. You can often find them at second hand stores, garage sales and pawn shops at a low price. Add in the cost of safety gear and you have family entertainment for years to come that’s healthy and fun.
- Learn to savor healthy foods and make them an adventure in eating if you’re an adult. Make food fun or children. Consider food like spaghetti squash that will fascinate children and amaze adults.
- Make everything a game, from climbing stairs to carrying groceries or cleaning the house. Dance your way through housework with the kids or race up the stairs to see who gets to the top the fastest. It keeps the family fit while being fun.
- Don’t use video games or junk food as a reward. That puts it on too high of a pedestal and makes it more enticing. Find other rewards that fit the healthy lifestyle mode, like ten more minutes of play outside or letting them choose a menu for the next meal from several options.
- Look for opportunities to help your kids get and stay in shape. A special trip to an amusement park will require a lot of walking. Have them prepare for the trip by walking every night together.