8 Simple Lifestyle Hacks for Family Fitness and Family Bonding

family bonding while preparing a healthy meal
Photo By George Rudy/shutterstock

Your family’s fitness and nutrition is something that needs to be taken seriously.  Every parent should be proactive to improving the health and lifestyle of their family.  The trickle down effects of good health are immense and by following these tips, you will take your family down the path to improved wellbeing and happiness.

Watch Less TV

TV can be good.  It can be educational, entertaining and if we’re honest, a way to keep the kids busy while parents are trying to get things done.  However, it should be limited.  Through watching too much TV, kids are influenced by persuasive commercials, they are witness to violent acts and the tendency for obesity is higher.  The risk of poorer school performance is also higher amongst children who engage in too much television viewing.

Eat Meals Together

When families eat together, children are more likely to eat a more balanced, health conscious meal.  You have more control over what goes onto your children’s plates and into their mouths.  It is recommended that each person have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.  Eating together can help ensure that.   Mealtime as a family is also a good opportunity to maintain good communication between family members.  As a result, you stay connected.

Eat Healthily

There are plenty of ways healthy eating can improve your family’s general lifestyle.  Let’s look at the benefits.

    • Eating healthy decreases obesity: Obesity is the number one cause of different illnesses, such as heart disease. Both you and your child are at risk of becoming overweight if you do not maintain healthy eating habits. Eating green and leafy vegetables, fruits and other nutritious food, such as yogurt, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. This promotes a healthy heart for years to come.
    • Eating healthily prevents meal skipping:  Not skipping meals is another healthy eating habit. You and your child begin to realize the importance of breakfast, lunch and dinner once the two of you feel the positive effects of healthy eating. Eating three times a day promotes productive hormone bodily growth.
    • Eating healthy gives all the nutrition that the body needs: When you and your child begin to employ healthy eating habits, you will be getting the 6 nutrients that your body needs: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals.
    • Eating healthy helps put you in a good mood: Once getting sick is prevented with healthy eating, you and your child reap the benefits and begin to feel good. Breakfast that is high in protein – such as eggs, yogurt, or nut-butter – stabilizes blood sugars, which helps with focus and concentration.
    • Eating healthy saves you money: Last, but not least, eating healthy, combined with playground interaction for you and your child, saves you from expensive medical bills. By eating healthy, you and your child avoid illness. As your health improves, your savings grows in the process, too.

Engage in Activity

Introduce your children to a sport and support them in whatever they choose to participate in.  Role model healthy living as a family by   exercising together.  If you live close enough, walk to school with your children, go for a family swim at a community centre, go bowling…there’s lots to do and no excuse not to do it.

Don’t Skip Meals

The morning rush.  All families experience it.  It’s easy to skip breakfast as we hurry to get organized and out the door.  Missing meals, especially breakfast is counterproductive; it slows you down as your body tries to conserve its’ energy.  This can make it difficult to focus and concentrate at school and at work.  * Quick tip: organize breakfast the night before by setting the table and taking out what you can ahead of time.

Wash Your Hands

It seems simple enough.  Colds, flu and some bacteria can be spread through hand-to-hand contact.  For washing to be effective it needs to be for at least 15 seconds.  This “simple” act can save your family from a lot of common illnesses.

Drink Lots of Water

The body cannot work without water.  Health officials recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water each day to maintain good health and prevent disease.

Play Together

By living today’s fast-paced, digital lifestyle, it is no surprise that we often run out of time to do important things in life. Have you ever noticed how many times you haven’t paid attention to what your child does in his free time in your backyard’s residential playground? Did you just let it pass that you don’t supervise the kinds of food that your child eats on a daily basis?

Your commitment in supervising how your child lives his life gives an inspirational image of you as a mom. Taking the time to play together with your kids is just one of the things you can do to come up with reasons to motivate them to play even more.

    • Play controls mood swings: According to an article by Stephanie Pappas in Live Science, a study conducted in 2009 by the journal, Pediatrics, reveals that kids show better behavior in classrooms when they are able to have good play time during the day. At home, make sure that the DIY equipment in your back yard (or other play area if you do not have a yard) interests your child. If your kid is fond of playing with make-believe rocket ships, think out of the box to build or assemble relevant play equipment. She will have fun playing a make-believe captain. Don’t be shy about playing a role in make-believe with your child in self-crafted forts to show her that you care for her as a parent and a friend.
    • Play gives practical learning experiences: Playing gives opportunities for your child to learn things that can help him cope with life as he gets older. This is particularly true when you help him transition to playing with play mates in a commercial playground. As you help your child with the transition, he learns how to climb up a ladder on the playground as he observes how his play mates do it themselves. As he develops, becoming more independent is something that he learns from playing. You will feel proud, too, of having taken a role in helping him achieve this milestone.
    • Play prevents psycho-social health issues: One of the leading reasons you need to feed your kids with different play experiences is that they are at risk of developing psychological problems if they don’t have enough play experiences. You are likely going to notice these issues within yourself as well, if you don’t feel fulfilled for having played a part in your child’s emotional development. Social isolation is the leading cause of depression and other mental health issues as your child grows up.
    • Play contributes to physical development: Play helps in maintaining your child’s healthy physical build. According to a blog from Playground Equipment, play gives the physical mobility and exercise that your child needs. How children get fit at the playgrounds ultimately depends on your participation in play activities with them. Your encouragement to play more inspires her to do better, and increases her confidence that she can always be the best.
    • Play helps promote better academic achievement: When you engage with your child in outdoor play activities, you and she are on your way to improving another important thing in her life… her studies. According to an article by Jeffrey Rosenberg and Bradford Wilcox in the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a 2001 US Department of Education study reveals that kids with hands-on fathers are 43% more likely to earn As in school, and 33% less likely to repeat a grade.
Fitness and Nutrition is easier to achieve if you work together as a family.  If family health is what you aspire to, then parents must set a good example for their children, have a common goal and share a lifestyle choice.  This will increase your chances of following through and maintaining it.


Article by By Susan Lieberman and Jeanette Anzon.

Susan Lieberman: As a Parent Educator and Family Therapist, Susan Lieberman has spent almost 15 years helping kids, teens and adults move towards happier and healthy lifestyles.  For more information, please visit www.familysupport.net for helpful information on this topic and many others!

Jeanette Anzon: Jeanette is a graduate of Architecture. She enjoys photography, sketching, arts, film, writing and continuous education. To get to know her more, you can follow @jeanetteanzon

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