You Know Being Healthy Is Important, How About Your Family?

Posted by Beth Hartman

Earlier this year, maybe it was a New Year’s resolution that you actually kept. You decided to commit to getting fitter, eating better and in the process, being more active than you have been for many years. That being said, you have seen quite a bit of improvement as far as losing some weight, trimming down a few sizes in your clothes but more importantly finding it easier to be more active because you now have the lung power and better muscle tone to tackle a healthier lifestyle that revolves around eating right and exercising. But just how well is your family doing in regard to their own wellbeing?

After all, a healthy family starts off by someone leading by example. So, if you’ve just made that decision this year to be healthier, have your wife and children jumped on the bandwagon with you to get fit? Just like you found out, eating well and being physically active every day are keys to your child's health and well-being. Eating too many high-calorie foods and getting too little physical activity can lead to excessive weight gain and physical health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which are now being diagnosed in children in alarming amounts. Obesity also is associated with an increased risk of other health problems such as depression.

You play an important role in helping your child, and the entire family, learn about healthy eating and regular physical activity. Parents have the power to set examples. Make healthy eating and daily physical activity fun, to help children learn good habits to last a lifetime. Here are some tips on how you can promote healthy eating habits and encourage active lifestyles in your family.

Today, many kids are overweight or obese. A healthy, active lifestyle can help maintain weight. It also can prevent health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and high blood pressure. The tips below can help your family be healthier, happier and allow you all to be more active and enjoy new activities that you may have put off because no one was up to the challenge of doing them because they were overweight!

Eating better (for children and families)

Start the day with a healthy breakfast. It refuels the body and provides energy for the day.
Let your kids help plan and prepare 1 meal each week.  This helps them to get involved with the planning and sparks their interest in eating right.
Eat together as a family as often as possible.
Take time eating and chew slowly. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to tell the body that you
are full.
Eat more vegetables and fresh fruits. Aim for a total of 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables
each day.

Eat more whole grains. Examples include oats, brown rice, rye, and whole-wheat pasta. Try to
eat at least 3 ounces of whole grains each day.  Besides the good fiber and carbs your eating, these types of food will help you feel full.

Drink plenty of fluids. Choose water, low-fat or nonfat milk, and low-calorie beverages.

Serve a variety of foods.  Serve food in small portions.

Eating better (Rule of thumb for parents)
Reward children with praise, not food.
Do not demand or reward “a clean plate.” Let your children ask for more if they are still
Read nutrition labels for serving size and This information can help you select foods that fit
your family’s needs.
Bake, broil, or grill foods to reduce saturated fat intake!
Avoid cooking with butter or vegetable oil. Use healthier versions like olive, canola, or
sunflower oil.
Choose snacks that provide nutrients and energy. These are essential for active, growing
Ask your doctor about vitamin supplements for you and your children.

Being more active (for children and families)
Move more. Try to get between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Short sessions
of movement throughout the day add up.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Walk as a family before or after meals.
Make playtime with your family fun. Be active by shooting hoops or playing tag.
Be active in the home. For example, you can dust, vacuum, garden, or walk the dog. These
activities are good ways to burn calories.
Include activities, such as hiking or biking, when you go on vacation.
Know your daily calorie needs. Balance calories you consume with calories you burn.
Limit TV, computer, and video game time to less than 2 hours per day. Encourage physical
activity instead.

Now one key tool that you can use, like the “Carrot on the Stick” is using an activity monitor, that’s really made just for kids to get them interested in doing more, being more active and actually having them WANT to be more physical on a daily basis, why? Because with this new child’s activity monitor from Garmin, the Garmin Vivofit Jr Kid's Activity Tracker  that keeps your kids on the move so they can earn more gaming time if they’ve reached they're 60 minute goal time of being active! The Vívofit Jr. Activity Tracker can be managed by parents using the compatible Garmin app. From the app, you can add multiple children and see their steps, sleep, daily activities and task data when it automatically syncs³ to your smartphone. Assign tasks, find out how many reward coins each child has, and even invite the family to compete in a daily step challenge (from the Adventure Trail) — all from your Apple® or Android® smartphone. How awesome is that?

Finally, as a parent, you have an incentive for your kids to get up and get moving, all with the aid of Garmins child’s fitness tracker. Setting goals when they are younger makes it all that much easier for them to continue to be active and motivated as they grow into young adults. And since your going to be leading by example, both you and your significant other can set your own goals of being fit by using your own Garmin of choice to stay on course be just that much ahead of your kids in being fit. After all, you don’t want to be breathing too hard in trying to to be a step ahead of your kid's activities now, do you? One nice activity tracker that can go the distance for you in helping you maintain your goals and if your partner needs that incentive push this activity monitor from Garmin, the Garmin Vivosmart 3 HR Activity Tracker  their way. This activity monitor can keep both of you honest as you meet your goals and challenge your partner to do the same. The Vívosmart 3 Activity tracking capabilities include steps, floors climbed, calories burned, intensity minutes and more. Move IQ automatically detects exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, and elliptical training. Sometimes it easy to get involved with work that can keep you sitting for most of the day. But your Vivosmart can alert you when you've been sitting just a bit too much and alert you that its time to get moving. This watch can also automatically start a timed walk or run activity. So you’re free to get up, get moving, and let Vívosmart 3 capture your active life. As always, you can review your activities later on Garmin Connect, so both of you can see just how well you're doing on a daily basis and making sure your one step ahead of your kids.

Welcome to Family Fitness, from your family oriented partners here at!

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