BY AMANDA WORMANN
Embarking on a lifestyle change is a big decision. It changes how we eat, how we move, and how we engage with the environment around us. Having the support of family and friends often determines how successful we are in our journey – and similarly, how we show up for others and support them can significantly impact their health as well.
If the entire family is on board with being healthier, lifestyle changes can have a lasting impact. Here are a few ways to make small changes towards designing a healthy life for you and your family.
Taking the dog for a walk? Ask the kids if they want to come along for the fun. Kids outside playing? Find a way to join them. Getting outside whenever you can is good for the body and the mind – more movement, less screen time, and fresh air, what more could you ask for? If your family enjoys friendly competition, you can set goals and challenges, too. Use fitness trackers to track your steps and activity throughout the day and have special prizes for the winners.
MAKE FOOD FUN
If you’re trying to work in healthier meals for your family, you can get buy-in from the kids by having them join you in the kitchen. If they’re a part of the process, chances are they’ll be more likely to give the healthier foods a try because they had their hands in it. Make dinnertime fun with creative and themed meals.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HEALTHY SWAPS
Small changes can go a long way. Make healthy swaps like drinking water or seltzer instead of soda and sugary drinks, use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and eat fruit and granola instead of cereals. And it’s not always about what you need to ditch; it’s also about what you can add, so find ways to work in greens and nutrient-rich food wherever possible. Spinach is one of my favorites because it can be tossed into any meal – smoothies, soups, pasta – without being too intrusive and its health benefits are plenty.
FIND AN ACTIVITY YOU LOVE
Discover activities that you can share as a family, and use them as a fun way to spend quality time together while staying active. In Vermont, most of my friends like to snowboard or ski together as a family on winter weekends – it’s a special bond they share that keeps the whole family moving together. Other fun ways to stay active as a family including hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, or using long walks as a way to explore by foot. Any time you can make the activity an adventure, you’ll spark the kid’s interest and imagination.
Spring is here, and it’s a great time to put small changes into action – so get out there and enjoy.