How To Create A Family Fitness Plan
I received a lot of comments about the post I wrote last week about a book entitled “Maggie Goes on a Diet.” While many were positive, most asked the question about what to do if your child really does need to lose weight. While I still stand by the title of my post, Why Diet Should be a Four Letter Word, I do believe that there is a way to encourage a healthy lifestyle and positive eating choices without trying to get your 4, 6, 8 or 12 year old to go on a diet.
In looking at your child’s weight and development, there may be valid reasons why they need to eat better; however, promoting cutting and counting calories in a developing child can be detrimental to their health. Instead, by focusing on fun family fitness and teaching healthy food choices is a better way to go.
Creating a family fitness plan does not have to be complicated or overwhelming. Research shows that when a family, as a whole, gets involved with adding physical activity to their routine and when parents model healthy eating habits, the children easily follow suit. When parents model this healthy behaviour, it sends the message that physical activity is a fun way to spend time together and not just a chore to be endured.
Easy Ways To Incorporate Fun Fitness Into Your Family’s Routine
- Start with walking to the corner store instead of driving
- Take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV
- Take a mom and me swim fit class
- Create family (friendly) competitions
- Make gardening a family affair
- Take a weekend family bike ride
- Walk to the park
- Play football
There are so many ways to get your family involved in some fun activities. Without even mentioning the words “diet” or “weight loss,” you can begin to create changes in your life that will stick with your children for life.
The same goes with modeling healthy eating habits. By stocking up on fruits and vegetables, cutting down on sugared snacks in the house and eliminating pop and other sugared drinks, you can help teach your child to choose healthy snacks. Creating a Rainbow Challenge in trying to see how many colors of fruits and vegetables you can eat a week. Have your child create a grocery list with you and get them involved in healthy meal planning. If you have healthy meals and snacks at home, that will be what your child learns to eat and love.
In modeling a healthy family routine isn’t really that hard. In doing so, you are promoting good eating habits, a healthy active lifestyle and a post6ive sense of self in your child. All without using the word diet.