By Lynette Laufenberg
Our all-digital-all-the-time world isn’t healthy for us or our kids. We need ways for the whole family to band together. Parents are looking for tips and tools to help kids choose good food and live a healthy lifestyle. Both adults and kids were meant to move — bodies are meant to be used! The best way to encourage this is for parents to move with their children.
Telling your kids that fitness is important is not enough — you need to show them! If you’re not physically active yourself, your words are likely to lose their impact. It has been proven that working out with a friend or family member helps keep you motivated, accountable and on track.
Here are a few helpful ideas to get the entire family moving and living an active lifestyle:
1. Get active. Plan times for everyone to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the exercise time together.
2. Limit TV, video game and computer time. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and excessive snacking, which increase risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease.
3. Encourage physical activities that both you and your family really enjoy.
4. Set specific goals and limits, such as one hour of physical activity a day or two desserts per week other than fruit. When goals are too abstract or limits too restrictive, the chance for success decreases.
5. Be supportive. Focus on the positive instead of the negative. Everyone likes to be praised for a job well done. Celebrate successes.
6. Don’t reward your family with food. This only encourages bad habits.
7. Make dinnertime a family time. When everyone sits down together to eat, there’s less chance of children eating the wrong foods or snacking too much. Get the kids involved in cooking and planning meals.
8. Make a game of reading food labels. The whole family will learn what’s good for their health and be more conscious of what they eat. It’s a habit that helps change behavior for a lifetime.
Still looking for ways to get your family motivated? We can help…
Many people have excuses as to why they can’t work out. Is your family busy? Do you have crazy schedules? Does your family need to get healthier? Is your family ready for a lifestyle change? Share your story with us and you could win a one-year family membership to Ultima Fitness. It’s easy! Grab your camera and put together a one-minute video of your family demonstrating why your family should win. Get creative, be inspirational and have fun! The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2014.
All videos will be uploaded to our Facebook page, and our fans will determine the winning video. The video with the most “likes” and “comments” will be awarded the family membership (subject to Ultima Fitness). For more information, call us at (561) 795-2823 or visit www.ultimafitness.com. To register, visit our Facebook page and click on the May Video Contest app, or visit http://woobox.com/7rt3i9. Good luck!
Lynette Laufenberg is program/fitness director at Ultima Fitness in Wellington. She is an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and an ACE-certified personal trainer.