So you’ve decided your family needs to develop some healthier habits. Great! The team of providers here at Arlington Family Practice applauds your determination to make life better for yourself and your kids.
We see far too many patients who’ve neglected their health, so we’re proud of you for taking this first step.
But what’s next? How do you get your whole family to invest in healthy habits? After all, lifestyle and diet changes won’t stick for long if mom and dad aren’t setting a good example.
Based on years of watching families go through this process, here are a few tips for how to get your whole family to buy into a new, healthy lifestyle.
Set your goals as a team
Don’t rain down decrees to your family from on high. Instead, sit down together (maybe have everyone grab their favorite drink) and brainstorm ways to make changes together as a family. It’s important to understand everyone’s hopes, concerns, and challenges.
Make sure everyone has a chance to weigh in and then choose a few areas to focus on as a family. The fewer areas of focus, the better.
Participate in a physical activity together
One area of focus is usually exercise. While everyone can follow their own programs, pick one activity you can all do together — going for a walk after dinner, learning a team sport, or taking up hiking or biking. Anything works, as long as you’re moving and you’re together.
Create a family recipe book
The same principle applies to food, another popular area of focus for becoming more healthy. Each of you probably has different eating habits and food favorites, but find a few things you all enjoy and put them in a family recipe book so you won’t forget them.
Make some time daily or at least weekly to focus on one another and your goals without distractions. Start by putting your phones in a basket and turning off the streaming services. Building this family time into the schedule can provide surprising benefits.
Follow a consistent sleep schedule
Getting more sleep benefits everyone. Your kids follow your example, so turn off the TV and aim for an earlier bedtime. Another good sleep habit is going to bed and getting up about the same time every day.
An old Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” The same principle applies to your family’s health. There’s no better time than now to focus on healthy habits.
If you need support, medical or otherwise, as your family embarks on this effort, we’re here to help. Call our office in Arlington, Massachusetts, to schedule an appointment or request your visit online. We’d love to be part of your family’s healthy living journey.