World Health Day is just around the corner, and now is a great time to learn easy ways to help your family be healthy. Check out our list of family-friendly ideas to incorporate healthy living into your everyday life.
1. Set a Family "Moving" Goal
Aim for 30 minutes a day of some sort of physical movement. Get creative— a walk around the block, races up and down your stairs, an indoor obstacle course, or age appropriate games that incorporate movement (Twister, tag, etc). You can even create a circle with numbers to track your minutes. As the day goes on, you can move the arrow so that your family members can see their progress. This resembles a clock, but instead would include your goal numbers. Aim to try this on the weekends as a family, and during the week you can tally your moving goal at the end of the day.
2. Create a Weekly Menu
You can choose to do this with or without kids. Going into the week, it's helpful knowing what's on the menu each night. Aim for at least 5 healthy days and then splurge on something fun like pizza or a meal out. You can even have children submit recipes into a jar and pick out a weekly feature! It's also a great idea to introduce a new food item once or twice a month. Our family rule is simple: you don't have to eat it, but at least give it a try. Need some inspiration? Try these recipes.
3. Dance, Dance, Dance
Most kids love to dance, and there's something about music that lightens the day. Have your children create playlists and crank up that music. You can even create dance routines together!
4. Go for a Nature Walk
You can come up with a theme where you are going on a nature hunt looking for certain items. Depending on the time of year you can come up with a checklist. We live near a cranberry bog, so once the weather warms up we collect cranberries for art projects. Items to "hunt" for: rocks, sticks, leaves, bugs, flowers, etc. Another idea is to hide toys outside and find them! My son loves this game, especially with his Paw Patrol characters.
5. Incorporate a New Experience
You could visit the zoo, hike, swim at the beach, or visit a favorite park. We have a glass jar where we add wishlist activities on an ongoing basis. We pick 1-2 activities each month, depending on our calendar.
6. Take Advantage of Indoor Space
New England winters are long and brutal, so we spend lots of time running around at malls and indoor playgrounds. Most malls have "walking hours" before the stores open and this is an ideal time to let the kiddos get exercise. Places like Billy Bees and Skyzone are wonderful avenues to get endorphins flowing. And if you're feeling ambitious, there's always outdoor activities like sledding, snow forts and ice-skating.
It's so easy to get caught up and forget to play with your children. Get down on the floor and crawl back into your childhood for a while. Your children will be happy you took the time to engage and your stress level will decrease.
I hope these ideas inspire you to get your family moving. After all, World Health Day will be here on April 7th! Do you have any unique family activities that help everyone stay healthy? Tell us below so that we can add your ideas to our list!