5 Ways to Create a Fit Family LifestyleHappy New Year! It’s that time of year to assess your health and fitness goals for the coming year. And how perfect that January is “Family Fit Lifestyle Month.” New year resolutions are hard to keep. But we’ve got some great ways that can help you establish healthy lifestyle habits for yourself and the family. The best thing about these little “add-ons” is they can have profound long-term effects on your health and mental well-being, and your inter-family relationships. Make 2022 the year you and your family choose to “upgrade” your lifestyle . . . so that you grow wiser and healthier in the years to come.
1. Family meals encourage warm connectedness.Make it a priority to have dinner together. Work schedules make it a challenge, for sure, especially when there’s a deadline to meet. Family rituals and routines, like the family meal, offer consistency and a venue for checking in with family members. As a result, it provides an opportunity for learning and teaching healthy food behavior and attitudes!1
2. Go food shopping together.Use the grocery store as a way to plan healthy meals together in advance. Planning healthy meals has the ability to reduce the likelihood of falling into unhealthy eating habits that include processed foods and sugars. Include fruits, veggies, and protein in your shopping list to help plan for healthy family meals.
3. Limit screen time.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 2 to 12 be limited to one hour of screen time a day, and teens and adults be limited to two hours of screen time outside of work and school.2 Yet, the average time teens and adults spend on screens is 7 to 10 hours a day!
A review of 10 systematic reviews indicate there is a consistent association between the increase of obesity in adulthood and screen time, especially TV viewing.3 I makes perfect sense. The longer you sit on the couch watching TV, the more commercials you’re exposed to. That adds up to more time and incentive to grab your favorite snacks, which are probably adding empty calories to your diet.
Additionally, prolonged screen time can also cause eye and vision problems called digital eyestrain. The American Heart Association suggests that smartphones, tablets, TVs and other screen-based devices be absent from bedrooms and absent during meal times. Daily device-free social interactions and outdoor activities are important to encourage.3