3 Ways to Approach Wellness As A Family
Just like everything else in life, the stages of a family ebb and flow. From the first moment, you realize you’ll have a little newborn in 9 months to the moment you drop your kids off at their first high school team tryout. There are times when getting up and getting active won’t be ideal. Those late night feedings or nightmares don’t exactly encourage you to get up early to make a healthy breakfast. The days when you feel like you’re always on the go, running from one errand to the next, make you feel like it’s impossible to slow down and spend time with your family.
While your kids might seem to have boundless energy and exercise, are they learning the right habits to channel it? Will their vibrancy and strength continue as they grow? It’s important to instill a healthy lifestyle into your children as early as possible. By feeding off their energy, you might even get a pep back in your step too! Here are a few ways to approach wellness as a family.
Make Mealtime a Priority
Healthy eating habits are the first step to living a healthy lifestyle. Beginning and ending your day with the right nutrition will support your mood, long-term health, and ability to expel energy in ways that contribute to your overall wellbeing. A study completed in 2011 concluded that exposing children to healthy foods and eating habits at a young age will encourage a positive predisposition towards a healthier diet and lifestyle as they grow up.
Invite your children into the kitchen with you and allow them to have input in their food options. Start with a healthy base of choices and work from there. Not only will it teach them the skills they’ll need later to compile their own diet, but it will help you in your efforts towards a healthier lifestyle, too. After all, you want to be a healthy, active grandparent when your little ones grow up to have kids of their own, don’t you?
A few simple rules to live by at mealtime:
1. Try to cook meals from scratch to avoid preservatives and unknown additives.
2. Eat more fruits and vegetables!
3. Find healthy snack foods that everyone can enjoy.
Fewer Screens, More Scenes
In 2009, Nielsen Co. reported that children between the ages of 2 and 8 spend an average of 28-32 hours watching TV or videos through a phone, computer, or tablet. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend a minimum of 4 1/2 hours a day watching various screens.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with spending a little time in front of the TV to catch your favorite show. However, it does contribute to a sedentary lifestyle. If too much time is spent sitting and watching a screen, that means you’re spending too little time being active. Living in Southwest Virginia means having a natural landscape to keep your senses far more stimulated than a screen ever could!
Spending time together being active provides an opportunity for family bonding as well as getting your heart rate up! Find an activity everyone in your family can enjoy. Even if it’s as simple as taking your golden retriever, Ralph, for a walk every evening, it’s away to come together and get moving. If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, there are endless options in Southwest Virginia. From hiking trails on the Appalachian Trail or Carvins Cove to biking on the Greenway. If outdoors aren’t your thing, there are plenty of great facilities around the region that will help you have fun and get active!
Set And Reach For More Goals
Maybe you want to drop a few pounds and run in a local 5k this spring. Maybe Bobby wants to make the JV Baseball team next year. Whatever your goals are, try to approach them as a family. After all, your family should be your number one support system.
When you sit down together to set goals as a family, you can discover new ways to support one another. Whether that means more time tossing the baseball around the yard, or taking Ralph just a little bit further on your next run, every effort you make will put you one step closer to reaching your goals. When you do reach your goals, you have a group of people to celebrate with, too!
It’s important to remember that wellness and a healthy lifestyle look different for every family. Everyone has unique schedules and circumstances. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Try to find what works for you and your family and embrace it!
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