Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family

by deborah on June 12, 2014 · 19 comments

in Exercise, Fit & Fab, Health & Wellness

Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family

Guest post by Bonnie Connerly.

It can be challenging finding enough time to fit in regular exercise and a well-balanced diet

for the entire family becomes harder still.

Among school, work and extracurricular activities, managing several different schedules

seems next to impossible.

And yet, hundreds of thousands of families nationwide manage to lead healthier, more active

lifestyles despite the demands of modern living.

You can help your family achieve greater wellness and health — without making it a struggle.

Designing A Better Balanced Diet for Your Family

Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family

America’s food industry is designed for you to fail.

Processed snacks, microwave dinners and genetically modified foods are all affordably-priced

and irresistibly convenient.

But healthy eating is easier than you think.

Use the tips below to get started:

Eating Tip #1 – Purge the Bad in Your Kitchen

One of the simplest tips involves removing temptation from the kitchen.

If you keep salty potato chips in the cabinets, it’s guaranteed they’ll get eaten sooner or later.

Removing unhealthy foods won’t necessarily stop family members from snacking.

After all, one can always drive to the closest ice cream shop. But those extra 15 minutes

can help create resistance.

Eating Tip #2 – Plan Meals in Advance

The mere act of planning meals in advance forces you to become more “present” about the

food you buy, cook and eat.

Rather than defaulting to unhealthy standbys like microwave dinners, advance planning

ensures that you always have a steady stream of healthier alternatives on deck.

Not sure where to start

You’re in luck.

There’s no shortage of free healthy recipes online:

* “Simple vegan or vegetarian dishes” returns 11 million Google results

* “Easy organic recipes” returns 52 million results

Eating Tip #3 – Make Healthy Eating a “Fun” Challenge

Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family

Because organic food tastes better, healthy eating is its own pleasure.

But you can make family meals even more enjoyable with a little friendly competition.

Out of the tens of millions of healthy recipes out there, who in your family can find (and prepare)

the best meal for that week?

Will it be mom? Dad? The kids?

But healthy eating only represents half the battle.

For truly holistic well-being, your family also needs plenty of exercise.

Getting Your Family Off the Couch – the Importance of Exercise

Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family

Exercise can be fun, but the very term conjures up images of hard work and sacrifice.

So when trying to get family members on board, you’ll face much less resistance if you promote exercise

ideas as “activities” or “family outings.”

As a bonus, group activities can be much cheaper than gym memberships for the entire family.

Need some activity ideas?

Activity Tip #1 – Family Walks

Go around the block or head to a nearby park.

You can even walk to the closest grocery store or farmer’s market to pick up ingredients for

pre-planned meals.

Activity Tip #2 – Hiking and Camping

You really can’t go wrong here.

Nature becomes your jungle gym, and she will work every muscle group in the body.

The fresh air you’ll get to breathe is simply healthy icing on an even healthier cake.

Activity Tip #3 – Home Improvement Projects

Few personal trainers would regard home improvement projects as “exercise.”

But give those trainers a few hammers and nails, and they’ll quickly change their tune.

Like meal planning, family activities lend themselves to friendly competition.

Not only can you vote on who came up with the best suggestions for that month, but you can

also pit boys against girls or parents against kids.

Making Exercise and Healthy Eating Work for You

Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family

The above tips are all well and good, but how do you turn ideas into action?

How do you design healthier lifestyles that appeal to everyone in your family?

Hopefully the following suggestions will help:

Tip #1 – Finding Time

Americans watch an average of 34 hours of television a week (not including recorded shows).

And they spend even more time on digital devices (smartphones, computer screens and tablets).

Remove or reduce these distractions, and you’ll have oodles of free time for activities that support

your goals.

Speaking of which…

Tip #2 – Establish Clear Goals

Have everyone in the family write out personal and group fitness goals that are both specific

and time-sensitive:

*I want to lose weight (way too ambiguous)

*I want to lose 5 pounds in 8 weeks (easier to measure)

Free apps like Lift make tracking progress easy and fun.

Tip #3 – Start Small and Scale Up

The reason most lifestyle changes fail is because people try to take on too much at once.

Make your goals small and scale up after each mini-victory.

For example, the family can commit to:

*At least four organic meals every month

*Reducing TV consumption by at least one hour a day

*A minimum of one family outing every weekend

Once you feel comfortable with these goals, scale up (or down) accordingly.

One Final Bonus Tip for Family Wellness

It’s OK to throw in a “cheat” day every now and then. For example:

*On Sundays, family members can eat whatever they want

*On Tuesdays, feel free to indulge in mindless late-night programming

Remember that healthy living is a process — not a radical turn-around.

By weaving in a little extra slack, you’ll find the journey much more sustainable, and way more enjoyable.


About Bonnie:

Bonnie Coberly works at Natural Horizons Wellness Centers as a Certified Health Counselor.

Bonnie works to educate and inspire families to make healthy choices in order to reach their wellness goals.

“Shared at Natural Living Monday”

“Shared on Mostly Homemade Mondays”

“Shared on Motivation Monday”

“Shared on #wowlinkup Workout Wednesdays”


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Small Footprints June 12, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Hi Deborah! I love these tips. I especially like the first one about removing the “bad” stuff. I’ve never understood keeping a few items around when they are items we shouldn’t have in the first place. It’s like torture and I see people do it all the time. Like they need that reassurance. I say … get it out of the house. Makes it a LOT harder to indulge. Thanks to you and your guest for a wonderful post! So glad that you linked up at this month’s Meet & Greet!


Sandy June 12, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Great article! I think it can be easy to just sit on the couch after work – especially in the colder months so I really enjoyed your tips on getting outdoors, or just incorporating more movement like the home projects 🙂


Lara @ Uptite Mamas June 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing. #wowlinkup


Amanda H June 18, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Great tips! I especially love your ideas for getting exercise in as a whole family. Definitely hope to have a fit family one day 🙂 #wowlinkup


Diatta @ Femme Fitale Fit Club June 20, 2014 at 9:41 am

My kids love to be active – it is the healthy eating I fight with them about. They constantly want chips, popcorn and cereal. UGH! #wowlinkup


deborah June 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Hi Diatta,
I know what you. That is hardest part. Keep up the good fight! At least there are some healthy versions of their favorite snacks available. All the best, Deb


Sophie June 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

Being a single mum I can advocate that getting the kids involved in activities with you is so important and heps a great deal. It can be hard at first to get them away from the xboxwiistation or whatever takes up most of their lives, but it doesn’t take long before they start to enjoy our family walks. Great article!


Melissa French, The More With Less Mom June 27, 2014 at 7:51 am

#1 is the most important tip for me. If it is in the house, I will eat it. It doesn’t matter if I tell myself I will eat so many, and then wait. I know I just don’t have the willpower. But when I’m at the store deciding if I want to spend my money, I can resist. Thanks for sharing. Hello from Turn It Up Tuesday!


deborah June 25, 2014 at 8:34 am

Hi Kimberly,
I am so happy to see that “Does Your Family Need a Healthy Lifestyle Makeover? 10 Fun & Easy Diet & Fitness Tips For Your Whole Family”… from Urban Naturale has beeen featured o Turn it Up Tuesday this week. I am thrilled about this. Thank you for the support. I appreciate it. All the best, Deborah


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