Healthy Habits for Families: Fun Activities for Kids and Adults
Being ‘healthy’ as a family generally involves more than just your physical health. Health is defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Encouraging healthy habits in your children can have a major impact in every family member's quality of life, and the more you practice these habits the easier it will be for your family to stick to them! I found two articles that offer tips for families to stay healthy together.
In an article from Active Kids, the author recommends children and adults should engage in physical activities or exercise for 60 minutes each day. For children, this is important for building strong bones and muscles. You can start by brainstorming a list of activities your family enjoys and continue adding to the list as you think of new activities to try. Mark the activities on a calendar to get your family excited about upcoming plans!
A great habit you and your family can implement in your daily life is taking a walk together after dinner. Not only can it help digestion and stretching muscles, families can share with each other about their day. As a family, you can track your time and distance to reach attainable and realistic goals. Other activities that are fun for the whole family are bicycling, gardening, hiking, dancing to a child’s favorite CD, or playing a sport together such as kicking a soccer ball.
In a HuffPost article, a recommended healthy tip is to prepare healthy snacks together that are easy and tasty. Snacks like veggies and hummus, almonds and fruits, and homemade trail mix are perfect for both kids and adults when low on energy, and since they are pre-prepared, families will feel more inclined to eat it. You can also get kids involved in making meals by taking them to the grocery store, having them read labels and choose ingredients, and allowing them to assist in the cooking process.
Families can implement a wind down time in their daily lives, which is a great opportunity to communicate with each other and take a break from technology. An hour or so before bedtime, family members can read together or individually, play a game, or just spend quality time together. This is also a good time to check in with each other and find out what’s going on in each of their lives, and determine if there are any issues that need to be addressed.
3 activities to get healthy as a family:
Imagination Playground - children can play with life-size blocks to promote engineering skills and use their creativity
Easter Egg Hunt - run around for an Easter Egg hunt, arts and crafts, and slime making
Dog Walk - involve your furry friend or offer to walk a neighbor’s dog and get some exercise as a family
Families who work towards being healthy can create lifelong habits and many memories together! Most healthy habits are easy to incorporate into your day, and children will get excited looking forward to family activities. Try the tips in this article with your family and work your way towards health together!
Lyndsey Watkins is a senior at UNCW. She is majoring in English with a concentration in professional writing and a minor in journalism. firstname.lastname@example.org