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5 easy ways to be healthy as a family

Before and After BMI

March 16, 2016

5 easy ways to be healthy as a family

Having a healthy family can be as simple as taking a 30-minute walk after school and serving family dinners with healthy and yummy twists!

Fall means back to school, winter means cuddles around the fireplace, summer means fun at the beach and spring means…? If you’re at a loss as to how to capitalize on this not-too-hot and not-too-cold time of year, why not try these five things with your family? Not only will you have fun together, but you’ll also be healthy together

A healthy family walks together! Walking 30 minutes a day after school or pre- or post-dinner can mean a lot to your family’s overall health.
Walk it off!

We recommend a daily 30-minute walk as a great way to be active and stay healthy. Why not turn your excursion into a family adventure? Here are a few ideas on how to make a walk to remember:

    • Colors and numbers: For those families with little ones, identifying colors and numbers is an important part of the learning process. Why not “gamify” this education and integrate it into your family walk? Have family members take turns choosing a color of the day and see who can count the most things of that color on their walk. The winner can take a victory lap or get some strawberries and yogurt as a treat!
    • Adventure time: Children of all ages have amazing imaginations, so any outing can turn into a treasure hunt, spy game or pirate adventure with just a little planning. Have everyone in the family write down an adventure idea (or delegate to a parent). Place the ideas in a bowl and draw one before your walk. The group can come up with objectives or things to do on the walk, such as pretending every mailbox is a secret spy camera and trying to sneak past them without being seen!

Play together

One of the best things about being a kid is getting to play. As adults, we often forget the pure joy of the monkey bars or the elation of a swing that’s as high as it can go. The good news is your children are wonderful reasons to relive this type of happy activity! Here are a couple of suggestions on how to make it part of your routine:

    • Parks, parks and more parks: Check out the listing of parks in your city – you’ll probably be surprised by how many you find. Try to visit at least one new park each weekend and make time for those monkey bars! You may get some extra cool points from your kiddos if they see you playing, too. Not into climbing on a jungle gym? You can always play Hot Lava Monster and keep your feet on the tanbark!
    • Backyard obstacle course: It’s funny how many toys and regular household items can be used to create fun obstacle courses in a front or backyard. The pool may not be open yet, but inflatables are fun to jump over or crawl through, noodles make great start and finish lines, and a contest to see who can jump 100 times with their jump rope never goes out of style! Make sure to have healthy treats waiting for your family athletes at the finish!

One of the best parts about playtime is that it doesn’t feel like exercise! Get true joy, family bonding and time outdoors with your kiddos!

Tips for healthy families include planning meals and cooking together. Teaching your children about portion control at an early age is important.
A family of chefs

Cooking during the week can be stressful, but taking too many trips through the drive-thru has long-term negative effects on your family’s health. Whether one night a week or every weekend, enlisting your family to help with the cooking and meal-planning means you can teach your children about healthy eating, portion control and even simple budgeting plans!

A family dance party lifts spirits, brightens moods, and helps get your heart rate going!
Dance party

We don’t care old you are—dancing just makes people happy. Why not make family dance parties a new tradition? Move the furniture to the side, find a kid-friendly music mix on Spotify or Songza and get moving! You can teach your children some new moves and get in at least 30 minutes of cardio workout, all while bustin’ a move!

Sometimes you just need to turn off all screens and get outdoors! Make it a family initiative to enjoy no-screen time.
No-screen days

There are screens everywhere: TVs, tablets, phones, desktops, laptops—it seems like you can’t escape them these days! Now that the weather is nice, it’s time to do for your family what your mom did for you: Institute no-screen time and encourage your children to go outside and explore. Whether they take a trip to the neighborhood playground, a walk around the block or even just head to the mall with their friends, any kind of non-screen, active time is a win-win for your children’s brains and their bodies! Make sure Mom and Dad participate, too!

You might also be interested in: Healthy spring bucket list: 5 things to try this season