With a new year upon us, many of us have set “New Year’s Resolutions.” I personally don’t believe in resolutions, but I always set an intention and a tangible goal for myself with each new year. One of the goals I set for myself and my family a few years back was to be healthy and fit as a family. We already eat pretty healthy and are very active, being that both myself and my husband are personal trainers and owners of Unique Performance Gym in Queen Creek. However, I am always looking for new ways to incorporate a healthy lifestyle into our family dynamic. This year, here are my top 4 ways to be fit as a family:
- When shopping for groceries, stick to the perimeter at the grocery store and try to limit the things you buy from the middle of the store. The perimeter has the fresh fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, fresh baked breads, etc. The middle aisles at the grocery store contain more of the processed packaged and canned items. If you buy snack items like chips, fruit snacks, crackers, etc., try to find healthier alternatives to these. Some of my personal favorites are instead of buying chips, buy mini flavored rice cakes, instead of fruits snacks, try mini fruit flavored kind bars or kids cliff bars, instead of buying crackers, buy popcorn kernels and make your own fresh popcorn. There are so many ways that kids can still have tasty snacks without munching on junk food all day.
2. Limit screen time for your kids and yourself. This includes cell phones, TV, iPads, kindles, video games, leapfrog games, laptops, etc… anything that allows them to be sedentary and for you to not focus on them 100% of the time. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the iPad is my babysitter to my 4 year old and that’s ok. I am not talking about those days where you are barely hanging on by a thread. I am talking about all the other days when all your children really want is for you get down on the floor and play with them, or whip out the legos and build a tower with them, or get creative with some play-dough or arts and crafts. I’m not saying you have to entertain your children every second of every day, but don’t forget how much they benefit from our full, undivided attention.
3. Get outside and get active. Enroll your child in sports, or if that’s not their thing (or yours), take them to a park to play or to an indoor trampoline and skate park, like KTR or Bounce U to name a couple. Let them burn off some energy. Meet a friend at Joe’s Coffee Shop and let your children just run around in the grass outside or take them for a walk through the farm. Try a baby and me bootcamp and let your kids tag along and enjoy the workout with you. There are so many things to do here in the East Valley with your kids that allow for both you and them to be active and get out their crazy. The more energy they can get out, the happier you will be too!
4. Practice self care and talk to your kids about why it’s important. You can’t pour from an empty cup so kids need to see us taking care of ourselves as parents. Every Saturday morning, I take a day off from my routine, a day off from the gym, and I allow myself to just be present in the moment and do whatever I feel like doing. My husband takes the kids for the morning and I’m blessed to have about 4 hours of me time. Sometimes I get my nails done. Sometimes I watch trashy TV in my Pj’s, sometimes I clean, sometimes I don’t. The important take away here is that I do what I feel like doing in that moment. My kids know that it is mommy’s time to be alone and to reflect and recharge. If you don’t have the luxury of having someone else watch your kids on a normal basis, then wake up early one morning a week and sip your coffee in silence. Or put the kids to bed early one night a week and enjoy a glass of wine and a hot bubble bath. And if you’re a dude, watch some sports with a beer in your underwear. Practice being alone, even if it’s for 20 mins once a week. If your kids interrupt your quiet time, then re-direct them elsewhere while explaining to them that this is your time.
So there you have it, 4 ways to be fit as a family. Remember that you don’t have to do all 4 of these things at once. Rather, try incorporating one of these tips into your family’s life and take it from there. Once you’re comfortable and have mastered your new healthy routine, add another tip into your family dynamic and so on. Slow and steady wins the race. Have a happy and healthy 2019 fit fam!
Original Post Written for East Valley Mom’s Blog and can be found here
Written By Rochelle Sonberg (@rdsonberg)
Owner, Unique Performance