Wellness: How to Make It a Family Affair

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Ongoing health and wellness are truly a family affair. Though you might face initial resistance to change, if you keep your eye on the long-term prize of prioritizing your family’s health and remain consistent over time, your family will ultimately follow your lead. Here’s how to adopt a wellness-focused lifestyle for your family – and make sure these changes last.

Make exercise a family affair

Children cherish the time they spend with you so stop trading time with the kids for your daily workout; instead, integrate the two. Play sports together in the backyard, jog while your children ride their bikes alongside you or build a family obstacle course and try to beat your own individual records. Many fitness centers offer children’s memberships and specially-designed children’s fitness areas so you can bring your kids along as you work out. Your children will naturally follow your example, so remember to demonstrate that fitness is not just necessary, it’s also fun.

Cook together and eat as a family

New family meal plans can be challenging because kids and spouses tend to resist change as a knee-jerk reaction. Instead of making sweeping changes, involve your family in meal planning, shopping and cooking. Learn about the foods you eat: how they’re grown and raised, how they’re processed and the effects they have once inside your body. Shop as a family at farmers’ markets so every family member feels invested in the fresh and healthy purchases you make. Finally, listen to your family. Pay attention to the healthy foods your children and spouse love and incorporate more of those into meals while avoiding the things your family simply cannot stand. Don’t feel pressured to incorporate a certain food that everyone hates simply because it’s healthy. Look for tasty alternatives.

Take time for yourself

You can’t set a proper example of wellness if you’re not at your best. Take some time to recharge yourself so you’re in a better position to motivate your family. Visit a weight loss spa or weight loss retreat to learn more about nutrition, exercise and how to bring lasting changes back home. Not only will you learn about your body and overall health, you will meet a community of friendly people who understand exactly the challenges you face and can provide an extended support network after you leave the retreat. Visit on your own if you need the time alone or bring your spouse to bond and get aligned about new family lifestyle choices.

Stop rushing around

Balancing work and home life can get hectic. You might find yourself hustling your family around, perpetually hurrying to keep a tight schedule. Your family (especially your children) respond to the pace you set and constantly watching the clock can introduce unnecessary stress­–for you and your family. Make a conscious effort to slow down in both mind and body. Introduce your family to meditation and yoga. Or take a break from busy family life by visiting a wellness retreat where you will discover physical and mental benefits to slowing down and learn techniques to make mindfulness a reality. Remember to respect your needs and trust that everything will be accomplished in good time.

Creating a healthy environment for your family is more than just the exercise you do and the foods you eat. It’s committing to establishing new standards for physical and emotional wellbeing. By involving your family and drawing on their support, you stand a better chance of maintaining healthier habits for the long term and setting the whole family on the path to lasting wellness.

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