Keep Your Family Active in the New Year

It’s a new year, which means many people are assessing how they can create healthier, sustainable habits. We all start the year off with the best intentions, but it’s not always easy to have the drive to commit to those habits long term.

One thing I’ve discovered is that I am more apt to commit to new habits if I have a buddy or two to help keep me accountable. Over the past couple of years, I have tasked my family to be my accountability buddies. We set healthy goals at the beginning of each year, and then we are all in charge of helping the family as a whole maintain accountability for healthy habits. It’s a fun way to enjoy better health together versus attempting it alone.

Some of the ways we remain active and healthy throughout the year are:

Menu Plan as a Family

I love to cook, but sometimes I lack inspiration when planning healthy meal options. To help with this, the whole family gets involved in weekly meal planning.  We sit down on Sunday with our favorite cooking magazines, cookbooks and websites, and each person chooses what they’d like to see on the dinner table that week. Getting everyone involved in making meal choices is a great way to create healthy habits in the new year.

Count Your Steps

When it’s cold outside, it is hard to get motivated to find extra ways to incorporate activity into your day. Last year, the entire family got pedometers, and now we have a weekly contest to see who can take the most steps during the week. The winner gets to pick from a bucket of small prizes that include notepads, pens, small toys, get-out-of-a-chore-free coupon, date night with mom or dad, etc. We have found it an effective way to motivate everyone to be more active.

Enjoy Fun Indoors

It’s not always possible to get outside to play ball or participate in sports activities in the winter, so we figure out ways to bring outdoor fun inside. Blow up balloons and have an indoor volleyball game or use everyday household items for an indoor Olympics.

Get Active During TV Time

Sitting around the TV and watching favorite family shows is a great way to spend a cold, winter day. Make the most of commercials and have everyone do sit-ups or jumping jacks during the commercials. A few minutes of movement, even during normally sedentary activities, can help a family create healthy habits.

These are just a few suggestions for keeping everyone accountable for staying active during the new year. Sit down as a family after the craziness of the holidays has settled, and come up with even more ways to adopt a more active lifestyle.

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