How to promote health for your family

Author: Erick D. Smith, Content writer for SPARKPE.org | 11 Jan 2011

Tagged: Exercise, Family Fitness, Fitness, Motivation, Positivity

The start of a new year is always a good time to make positive changes and set goals for the upcoming year. Many families want to improve their health and fitness levels, especially during the heart of winter, when families tend to get sick more and exercise less. Read more about kids health news in 2011.
Setting goals as a family for health and fitness at the start of the new year gets kids involved in the planning process and motivates them to track their progress and reach smaller milestones along the way. And there are some important steps you can take throughout the year to promote health to your kids by getting healthy and fit as a family.
1.Set the example with food, eating habits, and exercise. Kids learn more from their parents than anyone else, so it's imperative to lead by example. If you need to make changes in your own lifestyle, this it the time to do it, and make it part of your family's goals so the rest of your family members can both support you and hold you accountable.
2.Introduce healthy eating tips one at a time. Don't overwhelm your family members with volumes of information and nightly Internet research about healthy eating, diet, and nutrition. Picking the most important nutrition recommendations and focusing on one each week will make a more lasting impression on your entire family. Introduce a new healthy eating tip each Sunday afternoon and discuss as a family how you'll begin to integrate this new tip into your eating habits during the upcoming week.
3.Plan and cook meals together. You don't need to do this every night either, but once or twice a week, let your kids decide what's for dinner and make them responsible for preparing the meal, facilitating the process rather than directing it. If your kids are too young to cook, now is the time to have them watch you plan meals and make your favorite healthy dishes, letting them help as much as they can.
4.Teach physical education to your kids at home. PE classes at school may help your kids get daily exercise, but they don't always teach kids about the importance of movement and fitness. Kids are more motivated to be active when they understand the benefits of exercise, so be sure to supplement your kids PE classes with additional info at home.
5.Eliminate junk food from your house. The easiest way to get your kids to stop eating junk food is to stop buying it. When there's no junk food around, kids are more willing to turn to healthy alternatives for snacks. While they may have access to junk food at friends houses or even at school, showing that you don't support the habit will help them learn better habits of their own. If you don't want to completely nix junk food, only allow it on birthdays and other special occasions, teaching your kids that it's not for everyday consumption is the important part.
Erick D. Smith is a blogger living in San Diego, California (USA) and writes about the importance of teaching kids how to live and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
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