These days it is very easy to live a sedentary life due to the vast number of technological conveniences we have at our fingertips. Most people work seated and relax in front of the television. Children spend far more time playing video games and tinkering with other electronics than running and playing outdoors. The result is an obesity epidemic. In this article, we will discuss a number of ways to get your family up and moving.
You do not have to make massive lifestyle changes to encourage your family to lose weight. It is very easy to keep light exercise equipment scattered about at your various work and relaxation stations. A light set of dumbbells on the table next to your easy chair and a pedalcizer at your desk can really help you add a bit of exercise to each and every day.
Grocery shopping for health involves shopping in the outer aisles of the supermarket. Fruits, veggies, plain meats and dairy products are all on the outer aisles. Soda, candy, chips and other super-processed foods are on the inner aisles. Make a conscious effort to do the vast majority of your grocery shopping on the outer aisles of the market. Load up your basket with fresh fruits and veggies and be sure to have them ready to eat and available for family snacking as well as meal time. Keep your sweet tooth satisfied with sweet, natural snacks such as fruit and yogurt smoothies, frozen grapes and banana chunks, dried fruit, yogurt and frozen fruit bars.
Create delicious, healthful meals with a simple formula. Be sure that half your food is fresh veggies and/or fruit. One quarter of your meal should be whole grains, such as brown rice or whole grain bread. The final quarter should be a lean protein source such as lean meat, poultry or fish. You could also enjoy tofu, eggs, beans, lentils or other non-meat protein sources.
Schedule family activity time every day. You could take a bike ride or walk after dinner, go for a swim at the local YMCA or health club, play an outdoor game or work in the yard on nice days. If it is raining or snowing out, follow an exercise video together or play an active Wii game. Make sure the whole family participates in something active every day.
Encourage your kids to become involved in athletic programs at school by attending their events and cheering them on. If you and your family are just not sporty types, cultivate other outdoor and active pursuits to ensure a lifelong of good health and easy weight maintenance. Hiking, horseback riding, cycling, swimming and mountain climbing are just a few of the non-group type activities that can be enjoyed by people who do not like team sports.
Model the change you want to see in your family. If you approach the topic of family weight loss and fitness with an attitude of telling others what to do, you are doomed to failure. Solicit input and advice every step of the way. Encourage brainstorming and try out all kinds of activity and food ideas, even if you think they will not work. We live and learn, and experience is part of the fun.
Encouraging your family to lose weight is really pretty simple. What it boils down to is eating healthy food and getting active. The key is to make it fun and do it on a regular, ongoing basis. Follow the tips presented here to start and maintain a successful family weight loss program.