Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can seem difficult and intimidating when you have more than just yourself to worry about. “What should we have for dinner tonight?” “Is everyone getting enough sleep?” There are so many questions that can cloud your mind when trying to make healthy choices for everyone involved. Whether there’s two of you or eight, there’s some good news — it’s not as hard as you might think! Here are some ways to keep everyone in the house healthy:
1.) MAKE TIME FOR ACTIVITY
Get moving! Physical activity is important for people of all ages, so start doing it together. Lay out your schedule, and choose a couple times a week that everyone can join in for a workout or fun activity. Maybe it’s walking the dog to the dog park and playing for an hour, going on a run together, or even playing some frisbee in the backyard. Whatever it takes to get your family up and active, make some time for it.
Staying active as a family can keep you accountable. Ever noticed that working out with a group or partner is easier? It’s because someone is depending on you to show up. It’s hard to make excuses when the whole family is going. Choose activities that are fun for everyone, and it will start feeling more and more enjoyable.
2.) PLAN YOUR MEALS
You just got off work and you forgot to go to the grocery store this week. Now you’re stuck wondering what you’ll make for dinner, if you should go out to eat, or just order in. Planning your meals each week can help you avoid the stress of preparing last-minute meals when life gets extra busy. Keep track of how often you grab food on the go and make a plan to cut it down if it seems to be a habit.
Prepare meals that are filled with the nutrients your body needs. Just planning the meals isn’t necessarily enough. Each week, decide what meals to have each night, while also considering lunch and snacks, if necessary, and make a grocery list. Having the ingredients ready to go in your kitchen can contribute to healthy eating choices!
3.) SET A BEDTIME
This doesn’t just go for the kids — it means you, too! Sleep is essential to staying healthy, but many of us don’t get enough of it each night. A lack of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system and can jeopardize your health. While young children need to go to bed earlier than older children and adults, everyone should have their own bedtime… and they need to stick to it!
If technology is getting in the way of good sleep, it’s time to put the phone down. The blue light emitted from our screens can keep you up late and even affect your overall sleep quality. A good rule of thumb is to limit technology use after your set bedtime. You can even leave your devices outside of the bedroom, so you’re not tempted to hop on Facebook, TikTok, or whatever else is taking up your time to sleep.
4.) AVOID BAD HABITS
Having the support of your family can make a world of difference when choosing a healthy lifestyle. Bad habits come in many shapes and sizes, and each member of your family could struggle with something different — a giant sweet tooth, snack binging in between meals, drinking more alcohol than usual. It’s important to get to the root of the issue in order to address it effectively. You and your family need to support each other in order to tackle bad habits and behaviors that could negatively affect your health.
“Staying healthy” includes your mental health. Making lifestyle changes can be hard on your body and mind, so it’s incredibly important to talk to your family about any struggles you may be facing. Depending on their ages, your children might have struggles to talk about, too, and communicating with each other can deepen your support network and help each other feel reassured and more confident. Stress and anxiety could be stemming from work, school, or even home life, and sharing your thoughts and feelings can improve both your mental and physical health.
Regardless of where you are in your personal health journey, each of these items listed above can be challenging. The most important thing to remember is that it is OK to start slow — a healthy lifestyle can’t be created in a day. Walk the walk, and model good behaviors for the rest of your family to follow. Making healthy choices is much easier with your family by your side!
Here at Reach, we can help your body stay strong and healthy to keep up with your family activities and lifestyle changes. Our Stretch and Recovery sessions can benefit children as young as 10 to 12 years old and we have plans the whole family can use. To schedule your first session FREE today, visit reachstretch.com. Come give it a try, and get your family moving!