Creating Healthy & Active Habits for Families in the New Year
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As the New Year kicks off, it’s the perfect time to take a look at your family routine and think about potential positive changes and habits you can build into your daily life. Creating active habits benefits every person in the family. Living a health-conscious lifestyle looks different for everyone, what’s important is creating the right routine for you and yours.
Healthy Family Habits Start With You (the Parent)
As you have likely learned, your child is always watching. For better or worse, those tiny humans are like sponges, soaking up everything around them. The habits and behaviors you model in front of your kids make more of a difference than you think, so invest your energies into modeling healthy habits. Simple activities like cooking nutritious meals is a great way to educate your kids about the importance of fueling up with the right foods. Practicing good hygiene helps to model how to kindly care for your body. Positive language and self-talk are instrumental in helping your kids shape their view of how they speak about themselves and others. Motivating the entire family to spend an hour being active each day gets everybody moving together. The possibilities are endless.
Benefits of Daily Activity
Daily activity is important for every member of the family. With their growing bodies and developing minds, kids absolutely need consistent physical regiment in their regular schedule. Daily movement can help your child in the following ways:
- Builds self-confidence
- Helps kids develop important life skills
- Boosts mental health
- Enhances physical health
- Reduces stress
- Improves sleep
- Lessens behavioral issues
Ideas for Family Activities
Daily activity does not have to be a chore. It can look different every day, depending on your family schedule. Juggling youth sports, jobs, shopping, cleaning, and other weekly obligations leaves little room for time-consuming extracurriculars. Make active play fun and easy for the entire family by integrating it into your existing schedule. If your kids are learning virtually, be sure to encourage a quick movement break every hour or so.
Host a small family sports game and play basketball, soccer, softball, baseball, or football. Get active with other families and include them in the fun. Take a quick daily walk or a hike when the weather is nice and add some fresh air into the exercise routine.
Stretching regularly is another excellent practice to add to the family calendar. Practicing yoga helps to incorporate routine stretching into the schedule. This helps to calm the mind, increase blood flow in the body, and benefits range of motion. Consider trying out a virtual yoga class or bringing the kiddos to a studio class and start practicing a zen lifestyle together.
While daily movement might be a small 10-15 minute activity, it is a good idea to pencil in a bigger weekly event for everyone. This time block may be an hour or more, and be more of a structured plan. Choose an activity that everyone does as a family once a week. Some options for weekly active habits include:
- HIIT class
- Dance class
- Horseback riding
- Tennis lessons
- Bike riding
- Run outside
The New Year is a great time to create new habits and set yourself up for success. Try any of these activities and let us know in the comments how they have positively impacted your daily routine!
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