All in the Family
We are welcoming November with open arms. This time of year is our favorite for so many reasons. The weather is perfect and with it being cooler, it’s a great time to try out some new studios. Nesting weather means we are bringing out our crock-pots to try all kinds of stews and heartier, healthy meals. And, it’s filled with so much great family time.
Speaking of family time, there are more and more articles being written about our generation and family. Many of us are at the point where we are simply managing the woes of adulthood (we hate Sallie Mae too, y’all), maybe starting a family of our own, and beginning to take care of our parents and look after their well-being. If getting your family active and living a healthier lifestyle is something that has been on your mind, we have some ideas for you!
We consider food to be a love language.There is something special about cooking and enjoying a meal with the ones you care about. When working towards a healthier lifestyle, finding time to cook together is a great way to bond with your family. If you have children, you can use your time in the kitchen to introduce them to new, healthy foods in a fun way
Here are some fun ways to incorporate healthy eating into your weekly routine:
Become a Top Chef or Chopped Judge: One of our favorite things to do in our spare time is watch cooking shows. Try a recipe, or a whole meal if you are feeling confident, with a healthy ingredient at the center. While at the dinner table, everyone can comment on what they like about it, what would they add a little more of (or less), and then rate the dish at the end of the meal. It’s a great way to build a catalog of your family’s favorite recipes, and it can get pretty funny.
Menu Plan As a Family: If you have young kids, this is a great time to give them a little power. Set healthy guidelines and let them choose what they would like to eat that day. You can even let them help select groceries, measure out ingredients, and be taste-testers. This helps them build confidence in their ability to make healthy choices, and you may have a future taste maker or restaurateur on your hand
It’s no secret that we like to work out (OK, maybe we love it), but developing positive attitudes towards exercising is an excellent step to living a healthier lifestyle
Find a Weekly Activity: Choose one weekly activity do as a whole family: This can be anything.You can go for a long walk, a bike ride, skating or ice skating, or just a fun day at the park or in the snow (don’t underestimate the calories burned flying a kite or having a snowball fight). There are a lot of indoor activities too, like going to sky zone, trying indoor rock climbing, having an active game night (taboo anyone?) or just dancing the night away . You could also start a family challenge with a money pot attached. Get creative. The goal is to move as a family.
Leverage your role as the “active one” in the family: So, we know that everyone is not going to jump at the chance to go for that triathlon with you, but that doesn’t have to stop you from being a champion and motivator for other family members to try new things. Take your mom to Zumba, get your dad to zen out with yoga, or take your younger siblings kayaking. Something like The Color Run is a great family-friendly event for all ages, where there is no pressure, it’s perfect for any fitness level, and little ones will welcome the chance to get messy.
Finding time to reflect and decompress is just as important as the first two. There is nothing wrong with setting time aside to make this a priority for your family, especially during what can be a contentious season for some.
Find time to Reflect: Be clear that this is not a time to air grievances, or hash up old family drama. Reflection or mediation time, should be focused on sharing things you are grateful. Have your family share things like the highlight of their day, a challenge they had, something they are looking forward to or what made them happy. Again, set a time for this to happen like over the dinner table, on the way to church, etc.
Start a Family Night: Health and wellness is all about how we feel and there are many ways to release good endorphins that bring calm into our lives. Finding ways to laugh together is one way to do that. Start a family movie night or game night to release some stress and simply have fun with one another.
If you are like us, your friend group can also serve as a pseudo-family when you are living away. Many of these ideas could quickly be turned into activities for your crew and provide a support for those you love away from home. Friendsgiving, anyone?